Acting British High Commissioner delivers post-referendum speech
Fri, 07/29/2016 - 12:00am
The British people have asked for a new relationship with the EU and that is what the UK will seek
The Consular Corps of Barbados held its Luncheon Meeting at the Southern Palms Hotel recently to introduce new Honorary Consuls for Switzerland, Poland and South Korea represented by Claudio Macchi, Michael Armstrong and Roland Bullen respectively, bringing the number of Honorary Consuls serving in Barbados to twenty-four.
The meeting brought together Honorary Consuls, members of the Diplomatic Corps, senior personnel from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and members of the private sector. At the meeting the Broken Trident was introduced by Senator, Sir Trevor Carmichael, KA, QC, Honorary Consul for Mexico.
Acting British High Commissioner, Colin Dick, was the featured speaker and addressed the meeting on “Brexit: What now for the UK and the Caribbean”.
In his remarks Dick set out the clear decision of the British people on June 23 to leave the European Union. He said that the decision will probably be the most significant political event in his country in his lifetime. Dick made clear that for now, the UK remained a full member of the EU. The UK will continue to support the EU’s trade agenda, and participate constructively in EU decision-making.
The Acting High Commissioner noted the remarks of the British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, that leaving the EU did not mean leaving Europe.
“We are not leaving Europe. It will be geographically, physically, culturally, emotionally and historically impossible for the UK to leave Europe. That is not our destiny. That is not our future. The British people have asked for a new relationship with the EU and that is what the UK will seek.”
Dick stated that “This referendum won’t affect what makes Britain great. All of the things that make Britain a great place to do business – or to study or to visit – have not changed.” He said that “the UK remained the only country in the world that spend two per cent of its GDP on defence, 0.7 per cent on development assistance and had a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. The UK will continue to exercise real and significant influence.”
Dick concluded by noting that the UK’s relationship with the Caribbean will go from strength to strength. He pointed out that “the UK is the largest bilateral aid donor to the region, that there already exists a very strong trade and
investment relationship, and that the economic and cultural ties that underpin our relationship are strong and enduring.”
He made it clear that “going forward the UK will be more open to the world around it, including right here in the Caribbean”.