Hon. Julian Fraser, Third District Representative and Chairman of the Progressives United Party is warning the new Government of the dire consequences if it does not exercise due diligence and get adequate support before approaching the European Union to address the matter of economic substance.
Hon. Fraser who made the comment during an interview with ZBVI radio announced that while the Territory was granted authority to speak on matters of financial services it should not use that as an excuse to carry out the discourse with the EU without the United Kingdom.
“I think that one of the things our government must come to grips with is that we have an entrustment that allows us to negotiate on our own behalf with any government anywhere on financial services matters; but I think they have to come to grips with the fact that we are no match for the European Union,” Hon. Fraser said.
The Third District Representative pointed out that even if the UK exits the EU the BVI should still seek its assistance in lobbying the EU on the economic substance matter: “We must go back to the British government for their assistance in dealing with the European Union”.
In urging the government not to take the matter lightly Hon. Fraser suggested that the new administration garners UK support for discussions on the economic substance matter. “If we were to go before the European Union now the British government will not be there. It is going to be us against them, and we are no match for the European Union. If we are serious about protecting our industry, we must go back to the British Government and seek to discuss that entrustment that we have to deal with the European Union.”
The Chairman of the Progressives United said that he is sure that the new Premier is cognizant of this, but he said he was just emphasizing the need. In further noting the consequences of facing the EU unprepared Hon. Fraser said: “What will happen if you try to play hero you might just go out there and come up short, and there is no second chance when it comes to these kinds of negotiations. I have been around enough of them to know that there is no second chance and you just can’t go abroad come back and say well I tried. No, it is not good enough to say that you tried. You are being forewarned, you better not just go out there and try, you better go out there and be successful,” he explained.