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    March 18

  • 10:35 AM

Hughes wants Anguilla Independence

rhondathompson, rhondathompson@nationnews.com

Added 02 April 2011


THE Valley, ANGUILLA, CMC – Chief Minister Hubert Hughes said that Britain's approval of his December 2010 budget is a little too late and signalled his intention to seek independence for the British Overseas Territory. "We lost out on so much revenue, we have lost out on the deal we had with the European Union, on the EDF 10 fiscal  package,  we have lost out on support from the Caribbean Development bank because  these institutions will not do business with Anguilla as long as Anguilla cannot produce a proper, credible budget." Hughes told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC). Governor Alistair Harrison said that the Queen, through the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, had assented to the island's Appropriation Act which contains the 2011 budget. He gave no details of the amount contained in the budget, but Harrison also announced that he had approved the legislation introducing the interim Stabilization Levy, as well as amendments to the Customs surcharge and the Petroleum Levy passed earlier by the House of Assembly. “These three measures constitute the new measures necessary to implement the budget settlement for 2011," Harrison said.  At the start of the year, Henry Bellingham, the UK Minister responsible for the British Overseas Territories in a letter to the Chief Minister indicated that the London would provide two independent experts to assist the local administration with the preparation of its 2011 fiscal package. The two consultants - paid for by the Department for International Development (DFID) have since presented a number of recommendations to the local government.  “My budget was perfect so says the team of consultants by the Foreign and Commonwealth office sent in on the advice of the Governor of Anguilla to rewrite it. But yet the day after the consultants gave the report to the cabinet, the Governor said he had permission from the Foreign office now to sign the budget and yet it took a month for him to sign it playing the fool because he was ashamed, “ Hughes said. The Chief Minister said that Britain's action has underscored the need for his government to pursue independence. "I feel very disillusioned and frustrated with British administration for Anguilla. My commitment now is to press on with my programme for self determination." he added. (CMC)


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