FORT DE FRANCE, Guadeloupe (Mar 16, 2019) –British Virgin Islands Premier Hon Andrew Fahie has hailed the value of regional integration at the OECS Heads of Government meeting in Guadeloupe, at which the host has been admitted as the organisation’s latest associate member.
Hon Fahie, in his first address to the Authority, said it is essential that the islands and territories co-operate closely together to defend their shared interests, including protecting the regional financial services sector.
“Our struggles in this Caribbean basin have always been one and the same – and it manifests itself in the modern day through our shared interest in having to defend and protect our different financial services sector from unfair and onerous demands from the United Kingdom in particular in our case; and the European Union in your cases,” he said.
Hon Fahie also sought regional solidarity in the BVI’s struggle to stand up to an “aggressive push” by some members of the United Kingdom parliament.
“We also seek sub-regional solidarity in standing up to a new aggressive push from the United Kingdom, which seems determined to issue edicts to its overseas territories in the region, without paying attention to the expressed will of the people, and ignoring our own values and customs which are deeply fashioned by both history and geography,” he said.
Hon Fahie said that united regional action is needed in fighting new challenges.
“And in the face of new challenges, orchestrated onslaughts, we must be determined to move forward together – not on our knees – but on our feet.” He declared.
The BVI Premier also said: “We also seek sub-regional solidarity in standing-up to a new aggressive push from some members of the United Kingdom Parliament, which seems determined to issue edicts to its overseas territories in the region, without paying attention to the expressed will of the people, and ignoring our own values and customs which are deeply fashioned by both history, geography and our Faith.”
Hon Fahie further declared: “As a people we all move to the same beat. Our vibe and our rhythm are built on hopeful melodies of change, and cadences that capture aspirations of building a stronger and better society that we can pass on to our children.”