Both His Excellency Governor Augustus Jaspert and Premier Hon. Andrew Fahie have assured that BREXIT now ushers in a period of opportunities for the Territory in terms of new UK/BVI trade opportunities.
At 6:00 p.m. Atlantic Standard Time on 31 January, the United Kingdom (UK) officially left the European Union (EU); and in a statement on the same day Hon. Fahie announced that he foresees opportunities on the horizon.
The Premier noted that the consequences of BREXIT would not be felt until next year, nonetheless he pointed out that the BVI would lose some of the EU privileges it has enjoyed.
“By virtue of the UK’s membership in the EU, persons who hold UK passports, including B V Islanders, enjoy the benefit of visa-free travel to the European Schengen Area and the ability to work, study and do business in the EU without restriction… After today January 31st, 2020, we lose our Associate Status in the EU and will have no access to the next round of EU funding earmarked for the French, Dutch and Danish Territories we leave behind. This is very unfortunate since the BVI is eligible for little other development assistance,” the Premier said.
As it relates to the avenue of opportunities and benefits the Premier said, “Your Government has also been clear with the UK that the BVI would like to explore opportunities for international trade presented by Brexit as the UK seeks out new trading partners.”
Meanwhile, the Governor during a press conference on 3 February stated, “There are lots of opportunities for both the United Kingdom and BVI as trade deals, as trade arrangements can be opened up to us and I hope BVI will take full advantage of those as well.”
“There is a lot to come but also a message of reassurance for people here that many of the things will stay as they were until the end of the year and a strong commitment that the UK is working with the BVI for the best interest of the Territory,” the Governor added.