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The UK government will open a diplomatic post in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and eight other locations in the Commonwealth, as part of an expansion of its overseas network.

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson made the announcement, saying that in the Caribbean, posts will also be established in Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda, and the Bahamas, along with five new missions in the African and South Pacific territories of Lesotho, Swaziland, Samoa, Tonga, and Vanuatu.

Speaking on the capacity of the new posts to extend Britain’s global influence, Johnson said:

“As a Commonwealth family of nations, it is in our shared interest to boost prosperity, tackle security issues and clear up the environment… After we leave the EU, Global Britain will remain outward facing, open for business and a champion of the rules-based international order.”

British High Commissioner to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Janet Douglas, also expressed similar sentiments, noting that the expansion would be part of a wider initiative to increase the breadth and depth of UK diplomatic presence across the World, under the “Global Britain” initiative.

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Douglas said: “This illustrates the UK’s commitment to, and desire to strengthen relations with the region. These new missions will be small, innovative and agile. They will improve the UK’s regional impact and co-operation with the Caribbean especially in multilateral fora.”

16 replies on “UK to set up diplomatic post in SVG”

  1. Well, there used to be a UK mission in SVG. They closed it over 10 years ago and sold both the residence and the office building when they were reducing their missions to economize. Now they are going to be “Global Britain”, so they will open a “new” post in SVG. What a life!

      1. Lostpet, because they are now on a path to exit the EU. If they leave not only the Union but also the Common Market, they will have to pay customs duties to get their goods into the EU. And moreover, there are financial services operating out of London, which can now operate freely throughout the EU. Those firms bring a great deal of money to the UK Treasury. They will probably decamp to some other EU country when the UK leaves the Union. So now the Commonwealth of Nations, made up of mostly former Br. colonies with a couple of non-Br. former colonies, seems much more attractive that it did ten years ago. The Conservative party is now talking of increasing Commonwealth trade. Note- Embassies and High Commissions will usually have commercial officers, whose duty is the promotion of trade. Meaning trade from the sending country (in this case the UK) to the receiving country, not vice versa. Increasing SVG’s trade with the UK is the responsibility of SVG’s High Commission in the UK.

      2. Harry Marriott says:

        The reason is Brexit and it is POSITIVE! As it stands the U.K. is obliged to charge duty on all imports from outside the EU. This includes SVG. Indeed our Chocolate Company has just paid 15% duty importing one tonne of chocolate to the U.K. BUT, once we are out (yippee!) and assuming SVG and U.K. have a free trade agreement, there will be no duty and trade boosted as a result. So this is why the U.K. are re-establishing consulatesin Caribbean countries. Good news for us Vincentians…

  2. Will the mandate of this diplomatic post encompass any positive proposal in regard to reparations for slavery to the descendants of Africans/Caribbean affected by the Atlantic Slave Trade?
    “As a Commonwealth family of nations”, it is in whose shared interest to boost prosperity? Lot of the security issues within the Caribbean transpired more-so following the criminal deportation scheme. The last overheads needed in the Caribbean are these diplomatic positions of glorified unproductive dignitaries.

    1. “The last overheads needed in the Caribbean are these diplomatic positions……….”? The receiving country (SVG) does not pay anything for a foreign mission. It is true that a diplomatic mission can bring in necessities for the mission duty free. But it also brings in some revenue since a foreign mission usually has some locally employed staff. And under the Geneva Convention governing such missions, every diplomatic mission MUST pay social security contributions for ALL staff, either in the sending country (in this case the UK for all British staff) or the receiving country (SVG for all Vincentian staff). And the mission will either rent or buy the buildind(s) it inhabits. The receiving country does not provide that. So what are the overheads?
      The reason for closing the former British High Commission in SVG was the BRITISH Government’s cutbacks, not SVG’s economizing.

      1. Thanks Pat for the details surrounding the possible “overheads”. Do you mind enlightening me on the final statements to my sentence (of glorified unproductive dignitaries) >>>the proposed benefits to those positions?

    2. The reparations issue will not accomplish what some think. Even if it does, what will it actually do for the peoples of those nations? The governments will possibly get a large sum of cash; meaning government officials will get big bonuses and salaries to start minor projects.
      Ask: who decides the reparations issue?…The rich nations that exploited the poor colonies. Where will such an issue be decided?…Possibly in Holland, that former colonial nation that still retains Caribbean territories?

  3. And I do not think you understand what a diplomatic mission is. A mission cannot have a mandate that includes reparations, if such reparations have not been agreed in parliament, following a debate on the matter. (I personally doubt that the British Government, or the French or the Dutch, will ever agree to reparations, but I might be wrong) We would all be aware, via the media, if the the question of reparations is ever debated, and also the outcome of the such a debate. The mission might then be instructed to formally inform the receiving government of the parliamentary decision via a diplomatic note, as it is called. A mission has no mandate other than to represent the interests of the sending country, and to convey the wishes or decisions of the sending country to the host country.

    1. Thanks Pat Robinson Commissiong for the details surrounding the possible “overheads”. Do you mind enlightening me on the final statements to my sentence (of glorified unproductive dignitaries) >>>the proposed benefits to those positions?

      1. It’s not SVG’s problem if they are “glorified unproductive dignitaries”. They do not cost SVG anything, so there is no burden on SVG. As I said, diplomats’ task is to promote the aims and objectives of their country. If Uk diplomats fail to do that, then the problem is the UK’s problem. As long as they pay for the buildings they occupy, and pay the local people they employ (including their social security contributions) any “uselessness” is the problem of the UK Government. It is THEIR interests that the diplomat has to satisfy. Just as SVGs diplomats, wherever they are posted, are supposed to satisfy SVG’s interests. Because you think that what they do is useless is not the point. A diplomat of a foreign government is not in your country to satisfy what you want, but to satisfy what his/her government wants. If SVG does not want diplomatic relations with any country, SVG is free to say so. But then it becomes a bit difficult to go to that country to seek aid, or for that matter, reparations.
        Reparations are usually a difficult matter. After a war the winning country/countries can try to force the defeated to pay reparations; but even that does not always work as the winning powers discovered after the First World War. Nor is there any international treaty/convention/body that requires any country to pay for its past sins, however much we might wish that there were such an international obligation. If you have no diplomatic relations with the country you want to pay you, how do you then hope to arrive at a solution where you get either aid or reparations? Do you hope to shame them into doing what you want? Politicians, I am afraid, are very difficult to shame if they think that their election/re-election will be put in jeopardy if they accede to a foreign government’s demands. And the British people today, if I read them right, are in no mood to agree that their tax pounds should be given to ex-colonies to pay for the actions of their ancestors two to three centuries ago.

  4. The British were big on the diplomatic scene in SVG, when they left it was a big loss to SVG, both financially and politically. They wanted out of SVG from the moment Ralph Gonsalves was elected and the British Foreign Office knowing his Marxist past wanted to distance the UK from him. There was no reason to stay they earned nothing from SVG it was going down the pan under the ULP leadership, why stay?

    Wikileaks gives some insight into why the UK wanted out of SVG.

    Now they want back because they realise that communism is becoming so rife in the Caribbean with the nasty ALBA collection of members and the want to be dynastical dictators that their previous move was a mistake and they want to be in the midst of it again.

    Welcome Britain anything you can do to help us out of this monster mess is appreciated.

    1. Duke DeArment says:

      I do not know if Gonsalves is a Marxist. He admits he is Keynesian. John Maynard Keynes was a Socialist, homosexual economist. With the ULP being “homophob”, you would think our PM would not admit it. Actually Keynes was an intelligent man, just a very bad economist. The belief that a country can spend itself into prosperity is ridiculous. Keynes also stated that if that does not work, the solution is to borrow even more money and go deeper into debt.
      Keynes’ theories have never worked and have only brought poverty wherever it is applied. Governments get temporarily wealthier but as the economy gets poorer, eventually so does the government. Those days are here for Saint Vincent, it is noticed in the constant and ever increasing raise in taxes. Better is Supply-Side Economics where taxes, fees, duties are lowered to encourage investment. You may want to ask yourself why it is so difficult to get investors to come to SVG. If they do come they all leave very soon afterwards. Our system of “concessions” is not only unfair, it does not mean the best survive, only those that get special favors. This however, is not related to the UK again opening a Diplomatic Mission in SVG.

  5. Thank you my dear Duke DeArment, that was very well put. Indeed, one would say that even Friedrich August Heyek could not have put it any better!

    It is a sad pity that the British in sorry full compassion for us, could not send us a detachment of S.A.S personals, together with a collection of administrative advisory civil servants as Aid Relief, before opening their new Diplomatic Mission here!

    We could do with a little wisdom locally!

    1. Duke DeArment says:

      How true. It seems that many here believe that being undeveloped means that our brains are undeveloped. I am waiting for government to prove that wrong, Until now I have been disappointed.

    2. Dear Duke DeArment, just as so as the readers know who you are. The word Duke is a first name not a title. According to the Vincentian Newspaper of 2015 when he appeared on the same page as Saboto Caesar displaying avocado’s he is growing, the Vincentian said Duke DeArment, is a United States national who has settled in Saint Vincent.

      The newspaper photo shows he is white American with an oriental appearance. Not that means anything, just letting you know who he is and obviously as a newcomer he is not an expert in Vincentian politics.

      But seeing as he is living here and experiencing what is happening, he has the right of comment just as everyone else has.

      I put ‘Ralph Gonsalves Marxist ‘ into my search engine and came up with these letter/articles/ comments, have a look for yourselves. Welcome Sir!

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