By anguillian May 15, 2017 10:08


Anguilla’s Chief Minister, Mr. Victor Banks, will travel to London in July for discussions with British Government officials on the impact of the United Kingdom’s coming departure from the European Union [Brexit] will have on Anguilla. He will be accompanied by Mr. Fritz Smith, the Government’s Sherpa, for the second round of talks.

“We were proposing to go to the UK around June 12 to attend those meetings as well as to participate in some activities which are being put on in connection with Anguilla Day by the Anguilla group of societies there,” Mr. Banks said on the Government’s radio programme – Up Front: a Conversation with the Nation – on Tuesday evening.

“However, now that those [Anguilla Day] activities are taking place, we have to move up our trip to the UK on the Brexit talks and that will be probably in mid-July. We have been a bit put out by that in terms of our ability to kill a couple of birds with one stone. But, certainly, we want to make certain that there is some representation of the Government of Anguilla on Anguill

a Day in the UK, so I am going to call on one of my colleagues to attend those activities next month.”
The Chief Minister continued: “As far as Brexit is concerned, it gives us another opportunity to have more discussions about the issue even though we are caught up with our national celebrations towards the end of this month. We have been circulating some information about the Brexit affair but we are not the only territory involved in the Brexit negotiations. From this part of the world you have the BVI, Montserrat, Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos and Bermuda. They, too, are all having discussions on how the issues will affect them. Anguilla, in particular, is concerned about its relationship with French and Dutch St. Martin/St. Maarten which is critical to our way of living, our survival and our familial relationships which are important to us. That is at the top of our agenda for the discussions.

“The issue has been broached, and we have articulated the concerns that we have – and I think that the British Government and other persons in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have a clear understanding of what that issue is. It could well be that they do not know the extent of the issues that affect our daily lives involving medical, economic and business services. It is a whole range of reasons why we go to St. Martin/St. Maarten and they come to us. As far as I am concerned, it is one economic and social space and we interact and move around as freely as we can, given the borders that exist. At the end of the day this will be one of the critical issues that will affect us.”
Mr. Banks further stated: “A number of persons are concerned about issues like immigration – whether or not we will soon have the benefit of the European passport to travel because it is almost a passport to the world. They are also concerned about whether or not they will be able to obtain free or affordable education in the UK as UK citizens; and there are a number of other issues related to aid and access to markets in the UK. Even though we don’t export a lot, there are other financial and tourism services that we depend on in the UK and Europe which are very helpful to us. So it is a range of issues that we may have more time to reflect on, and to prepare ourselves for, going forward into discussions in July with the Overseas Territories, the British Government and a pre-Joint Ministerial Council. Those discussions will be very important to us.”
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Banks alluded to varied discussions taking place at the local level – among officials of Anguilla, French St. Martin and Dutch St. Maarten – in order to arrive at a clear understanding about their relationship including the ferryboat service between the territories. He added that it was now necessary to be very formal regarding that relationship.

By anguillian May 15, 2017 10:08


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