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Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE is away from the Territory attending meetings in the United Kingdom (UK) from July 9 to 15, where he will discuss the UK's negotiations to exit the European Union (EU).
The Premier will also meet with fellow Overseas Territory leaders at the Pre-Joint Ministerial Council (JMC), organised by the United Kingdom Overseas Territory Association (UKOTA).
Premier will have follow up discussions with the UK on BVI’s priorities for Brexit negotiations. These will include freedom of movement, international trade, market access, EU funding and future relations with the EU.
Premier Smith is accompanied by Permanent Secretary, Mr. Brodrick Penn. Director of BVI London Office, Mr. Benito Wheatley will also attend the meetings.
The Brexit meeting is the second UK–OT Joint Ministerial Council on EU negotiations. The Pre-JMC meeting is an annual mid-year meeting where OT leaders discuss their priorities for the upcoming annual JMC with the UK. The Joint Ministerial Council is a group comprising Premiers/Chief Ministers of OTs and members and Ministers of the UK Government.
In the absence of the Honourable Premier, Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour, Dr. the Honourable Kedrick D. Pickering will act as Premier for the period.
Honourable Pickering’s appointment is in accordance with Section 55 (1) of the Virgin Islands Constitution Order, 2007 which states, “If the Premier is expected to be absent from the Virgin Islands for more than forty-eight hours, the Governor shall authorise the Deputy Premier to perform the functions of the office of Premier; and the Governor shall revoke this authority on the return to the Virgin Islands of the Premier.”
Photograph attached: Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE.