During a 17 December press conference His Excellency Governor Augustus Jaspert told media members that he has been negotiating for the Territory’s post BREXIT benefits prior to the UK general elections held on 12 December. The Queen’s Representative said that the Territory has been given assurance that they will not be terribly discomforted by the United Kingdom’s separation from the European Union.
In recapping the UK election that took place a few days previous the Governor said, “The United Kingdom elections last Thursday delivered a very decisive result. The Conservative Party led by Boris Johnson who was the Prime Minister before was returned to power… with more seats giving him the majority in the United Kingdom parliament.”
His Excellency mentioned that the winning party campaigned on BREXIT and that this would be the mandate going forward. “He (Boris) made clear that he wants to get on with BREXIT and that would be the mandate taken forward. For the BVI there are a number of things –such as making sure that we represent our interest.”
Governor Jaspert also mentioned that he commenced BVI BREXIT talks before December’ elections and he noted that there are already favorable promises for the Territory. “That’s something that I have been working hard on with discussions with colleagues in London…including things to make sure the BVI is guaranteed that as Britain leaves the European Union if there are any EU funded projects here, Britain will pick up the cost of those.”
In outlining some of the areas he has lobbied the UK for in relations to BREXIT the Governor said, “Making sure that those in the BVI, or BVI citizens have the same right as British citizens in terms of any arrangements that are made between the United Kindgom and the Union. Making sure that the Schengen Area to travel around Europe remains open to BVI citizens or those with UK passports.” The Schengen Area is an area comprising 26 European states that have officially abolished all passport and all other types of border control at their mutual borders.
Meanwhile, Governor Jaspert suggested that BREXIT can prove to be beneficial for the Territory if the BVI recognizes and capitalizes on opportunities that emerge. “There are opportunities as well for the BVI to think through about how it maximizes, what it means for the BVI in the future, what relationship does it want to have with the United Kingdom as well. As the United Kingdom goes through its change of relationship with the European Union the Overseas Territories are a key part of the British family across the world,” he added.