Crisis in British Virgin Islands is latest post-colonial headache

Demonstrations in protest at the return of direct rule are understandable, says Sean O'Grady

Thursday 05 May 2022 18:04
Comments
<p>Residents of the British Virgin Islands are unhappy about a return to an older model of British rule </p>

Residents of the British Virgin Islands are unhappy about a return to an older model of British rule

The crisis in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) is a small reminder that the sun has not quite yet set upon the British empire. Its disparate remaining territories, even the uninhabited ones, still have the capacity to cause trouble and distraction for the “mother country”. When that happens, there are usually no easy answers.

Like most of the British overseas territories (no longer styled “crown colonies” or “protectorates”), BVI is entirely self-governing in internal affairs, elects its own government and relies on Britain only for defence and security and to represent its interests in foreign affairs.

The arrest of premier Andrew Fahie on charges that he had conspired to launder money and traffic drugs into the United States has resulted in the imposition of direct rule on the advice of a judicial commission. The governor, John Rankin, is now presiding over a group of appointed officials to undertake the day-to-day administration of the islands.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in