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Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources Labour, Dr. the Honourable Kedrick Pickering has concluded ministerial meetings between the Overseas Territories (OT) and United Kingdom (UK) on Brexit.
The meeting included a special session on the UK-OT constitutional relationship in which the Overseas Territories challenged the UK Government’s position that the UK Parliament could legislate for the territories as it wished, which was done in the case of the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 that requires the OTs to adopt a public register before it is a global standard, but exempts the Crown Dependencies.
Hon. Pickering joined OT Leaders in expressing their discontent with the UK decision. "The BVI supports the Overseas Territories' position that the UK overreached in the case of public registers and like other OTs will challenge this attempt to force implementation in the territory," the Deputy Premier said.
In discussions on Brexit, the UK Minister for Exiting the EU, Robin Walker confirmed that the OTs arrangements with the European Union will remain the same during the 21 month transition period after Brexit that begins after March 29, 2019.
UK Minister for International Trade, Greg Hands also confirmed that the UK Government will seek to include the territories in future international trade agreements.
Commenting on the Brexit meeting Hon. Pickering said, "It is helpful that BVI's EU programmes on innovation, climate change, sustainable energy and marine biodiversity will continue through to December 2020. We will continue to pursue our policy to replicate our current relationship with the EU via CARIFORUM, CARICOM and OECS."
The Deputy Premier led a delegation on behalf of the Premier, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE, in London where they attended the Joint Ministerial Council for Overseas Territories on European Negotiations and other meetings.
He is accompanied by the Permanent Secretary in the Premier's Office, Ms. Dawn Smith; BVI UK Representative, Mr. Benito Wheatley; BVI London Office Deputy Director, Dr. Sandra Besson; Cultural Attaché, Ms. Siobhan Flax and Economic Advisor, Mr. Steve Johnson.
Photo Caption: Photo of Deputy Premier and Minister of Natural Resources and Labour, Dr. the Honourable Kedrick Pickering, accompanied by his delegation at the final meeting with other OT Leaders and UK officials on the subject of Brexit. (Photo provided)