The British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce in St Lucia has welcomed a move by 45 British members of parliament to persuade Home Secretary Amber Rudd that Commonwealth citizens should have UK visas fast-tracked after Brexit.
The Chamber also wants the registered traveller scheme to be expanded to include additional Commonwealth countries.
It has also called for a change in the rules so that it is easier for students to study in the UK, all part of the rebuilding of relationships with the Commonwealth post-Brexit, according to a release from the Chamber.
John Kennedy, President of the Chamber in St Lucia, said “travellers from most of the Caribbean already benefit from clearance on entry without a full visa application process in advance of travel, but the process involving students travelling to the UK can benefit from a more streamlined system.
“These new proposals by British MPs also call for border entry points at airports to be dedicated to UK and Commonwealth citizens, making processing faster still,” Kennedy said.
In a letter to Rudd, the MPs urged the government to “extend the hand of friendship to our Commonwealth partners” and make the UK more welcoming for Commonwealth citizens.
The recommendations are due to be debated in Parliament on February 26.
The MPs, including Sir Henry Bellingham, a former foreign office minister who last month met with St Lucia’s education Minister Gale Rigobert, wants the changes to be considered ahead of next month’s Commonwealth trade ministers meeting in London.
“Home Secretary, you are in a position to effect real, positive change in our relations with our Commonwealth partners. It would be a shame to let this opportunity pass us by,” said the letter.
Lord Marland, the former energy minister and current chairman of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council, added that “if the government is going to turbo charge its relationship with the Commonwealth … it will have to take into consideration visas”.
In the letter, published in the UK Daily Telegraph, the MPs say: “In the previous century, Commonwealth countries stood with Britain as we faced existential threats from abroad but as we pivoted to Europe, increasingly, our Commonwealth allies were left in the cold.”
The MPs added that “we must be clear about the importance we place on our relationship with the Commonwealth and start the process of strengthening ties for crucial future trade negotiations.”
Enough is enough! The women of our country can take the abuse and the murder no more. For weeks and months now, from last year into this, we have been disturbed by the way some women were tr…
Enough is enough! The women of our country can take the abuse and the murder no more.
For weeks and months now, from last year into this, we have been disturbed by the way some women were treated like animals brought to slaughter — beheaded, throat cut or brains scattered by the force of a machete (in the past), or the bullet from a gun today.
We talk a lot about the siege we are under. We wonder when it will come to a halt. Sometimes it seems that we can survive no more. Some men, acknowledging their guilt, commit suicide and got screaming media coverage. When it was too late to hear the reaction of people of conscience, the cry went up “Wah di Govament a do?”
Since the old year passed and the new came in for its year-long stay the trend for suicide has not been heard of as much as before — or occasionally, not at all. Deluded for a brief while, we thank heavens for the hope for peace and justice, assuming that all should be well now.
The trend has shifted from male suicide to stomach-wrenching murder of females, reserved not only for “big women”, but including even young adults, especially and (heaven help us), school-age girls, some of whom were living in concubinage with men who could be their fathers.
As to the other killers who are still at large, what are they plotting again? Will they ever pay for their crimes? The questions have to be be asked: Must so many of our women face slaughter? And, why are young women being so cruelly attacked? Is there enough room in hell to accommodate the men of evil who have lost mind and soul?
In some areas of our island, compared to others, more women seem to be targeted than others. The reputation of St Thomas has been tarnished far too many times, according to reports, which broke into the news. Manchester, for instance, has had more than enough pain and sadness over domestic homicide. Luckily, there seems to be a break. In western Jamaica, other women disappear only to be found no longer in the “land of the living”, but leaving behind puzzled and grieving relatives to ask the “Why” question.
So many of our women have been paying a high price for mistakes made, but very few, if any, have come forward — as far as we know — to place on record the danger of which they are well aware, but seem to doubt if anything can be done.
With all the bawling out for a change to come, I haven’t heard of any proven strategy to help women, the target of evil, to understand who and how they can help themselves in times like these. Now that there is promise being offered to go after the evil ones, we have begun to hear cries: What is going to be done?
Earlier this week a protest march against abuse of women was carried out with the objective to bring the nation to recognise the evil which has closed in on us. Analysis of the march, or protest action, as some call it, should have focused on strategies based on determination to heal the brokenness which is destroying so many women of whatever class, colour or creed. Woman abuse knows no partiality. When did love dissolve into darkness, pain and loss of life?
When the gossip and the chatter run out we may all have to get involved in turning back what has been there all the while, but which we failed to recognise. When a pressure cooker threatens to blow up, take note that the valve has to be released before disaster comes. So the women’s march was organised.
It was not the first that women in Jamaica have marched for the rights of their gender, but we haven’t seen such response for quite a while. Why shouldn’t we march? In the US of A, very recently, there was a vast women’s march to respond to the Trump who tried to put them down. The women of America have made it clear many times that they will not put up with manipulation. As for us, planning and staging a women’s march of our own here seemed to have irked some people. The women’s action ended up criticised, and even ridiculed as copycats.
Some of the anti-march response also said, “Instead of marching, women should go find something better to do.” What form should that action take, please?
Question: Why has it become so difficult to find common ground on which men and women, alike, can meet to create and enact strategies?
A march may not seem like much in the eyes of some, but as our ancestors used to say: “Walk fi sumpn, better dan siddung fi nuttin.” (Walk for something better than sit down for nothing.) Small comfort though it may seem to so many, the truth is: Somebody must do it. It is all of us who must!
Whether we are “toppa line, middle line, or poor smaddy on the road” it would suit us to face reality. What we need now is to respect life and to accept the message that we have to work together.
Small march or big march, we cannot continue the way we are now. Note well: “One hand alone cyaan clap.”
#AceNewsReport – Feb.14:.Mum of five left ‘ Valentines Cards ‘ for five of her children saying ‘ I Love You ‘ before she was found on the beach Lisa Williams left a Valentine’s card message saying “I love you…” to her five children (Picture): Lisa Williams, 31, left the love note along with five bars […]
via ANGLESEY, North Wales. Mothers Love as a mum of five left a Valentine’s card message saying ‘ I LOVE YOU ♥️’ for her children with a bar of chocolate each before she was found dead on the beach – @AceNewsServices — Ace News Services