Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE strengthened relations with the United Kingdom (UK) Parliament during his official visit last week where he attended the annual Joint Ministerial Council and held meetings with BVI stakeholders.
The Premier met with the new Chairman of the BVI All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) Mr. Henry Bellingham Member of Parliament (MP), former Overseas Territories Minister and the group's President Mr. Lindsay Hoyle MP, as well as the Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons.
He also met Baroness Scotland, a peer in the House of Lords and also former UK Attorney General and Overseas Territories Minister; and Mr. Conor Burns MP, Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Financial Secretary to the Treasury.
Premier Smith elaborated about his parliamentary engagement saying, "I am pleased that our relationship with the UK Parliament remains strong and that our friends in both Houses support the continued growth and development of the BVI. I will continue to engage MPs on how the BVI can strengthen its relationship with the UK for mutually beneficial outcomes."
The Honourable Premier provided an update on the economic development of the Territory and plans for infrastructure development in his meetings. He also discussed his Government's ongoing efforts to bolster the two pillars of the economy tourism and financial services and BVI-UK relations.
The Premier and other leaders of Overseas Countries and Territories also met members of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee of the House of Commons and discussed the impact on territories of a potential UK exit from the European Union. Members of the committee included Committee Chairman Mr. Crispin Blunt MP, Mr. Andrew Rosindell MP and Daniel Kawczynski MP.
Premier Smith also engaged the political leaders of the Crown Dependencies of Jersey and the Isle of Man on maintaining the success of their jurisdictions.
The Honourable Premier held separate meetings with Chief Minister Alan Bell of the Isle of Man and Chief Minister Senator Ian Gorst of Jersey, and discussed the state of the international financial services sector, the wider global economic landscape and how to maintain successful financial services industries.
Premier Smith further stated that it is important that BVI is engaged with Crown Dependencies with whom it shares a number of common economic challenges.