The British Virgin Islands (BVI) have pushed back against reports that it is gearing up for a referendum to remove the Queen as head of state amid supposed corruption of the UK government.
A move for independence would make the BVI a republic and allegedly comes as the UK Commission of Inquiry examines allegations that island officials cashed in on the British taxpayer following hurricane relief.
A spokesperson for the BVI has told City A.M. this morning, the state is not actively laying groundwork for constitutional independence but rather was seeking “greater independence” in the most broad sense.
Andrew Fahie, the premier of the British overseas territory, reportedly told The Telegraph: “When it comes to that next move of self-determination, that has to be the decision and the action of the people of the Virgin Islands. Because as one of our older politicians who has since died used to say, and I quote him, ‘the voice of the people is the voice of God’.”
The BVI is nominally home to more than 400,000 companies, and it is deemed as a key tax haven because of its low tax systems
Incorporation fees are estimated to account for more than half of government revenues.
The BVI became a British ‘possession’ in 1666, and became an overseas territory in 2002. However, in 2007, the BVI, which is made up of 40 islands, was given more powers to govern themselves.
More to follow