ACTING BRITISH HIGH COMMISSIONER SPEECH ON EU REFERENDUM RESULT
The Consular Corps of Barbados held its Luncheon Meeting at the Southern Palms Hotel to introduce new Honorary Consuls for Switzerland, Poland and South Korea in the persons of Mr. Claudio Macchi, Mr. Michael Armstrong and Mr. Roland Bullen respectively, bringing the number of Honorary Consuls serving in Barbados to twenty-four.
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 Mr Dick set out the clear decision of the British people on 23 June to leave the European Union. He said that the decision would probably be the most significant political event in his country in his lifetime. Mr Dick made clear that for now, the UK remained a full member of the EU. The UK would continue to support the EU’s trade agenda, and participate constructively in EU decision-making.
“We are not leaving Europe. It would 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 had asked for a new relationship with the EU and that is what the UK will seek.”
Mr Dick stated that “This referendum won’t affect what makes Britain great. All 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 2% of its GDP on defence, 0.7% on development assistance and had a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. The UK will continue to exercise real and significant influence”.
Mr 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 would be more open to the world around it, including right here in the Caribbean“.