Deputy Chief Information Officer
Telephone: 468-3701 ext. 2731 (desk)
Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE has concluded a successful meeting of the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Association (UKOTA) Political Council of which he is currently President.
At the Political Council meeting, the Premier and other Overseas Territories Leaders discussed a number of issues, including economic development, international trade, health, pensions and Brexit in preparation for meetings with the UK Government at the Joint Ministerial Council.
In his statement Premier Smith said, "I am pleased with the outcome of our deliberations which has positioned us to better engage the UK Government at our ministerial meetings this week."
Among other things, the Leaders agreed that high level engagement between the UK Government and the Overseas Territories was needed on Brexit negotiations through a sustained dialogue.
"We are unified in our view of the importance of a UK Government and Overseas Territories special ministerial meeting on Brexit negotiations in early 2017 before Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is triggered in March to formally begin negotiations on Britain's withdrawal from the European Union. We will make this case at the JMC", Premier Smith added.
Reflecting on his role as President of the UKOTA Political Council, Honourable Premier expressed, "I am pleased that I have the commitment of my fellow OT leaders for the Overseas Territories to work more closely together going forward, which strengthens our voice internationally and will benefit us all."
The Premier is currently attending the Joint Ministerial Council in the United Kingdom. He is joined by Representative for the Second District, Honourable Melvin "Mitch" Turnbull; Permanent Secretary, Mr. Brodrick Penn; BVI London Office Director, Mr. Benito Wheatley; BVI London Office Deputy Director, Dr. Sandra Besson; and International Affairs Director, Ms. Sylvia Moses.