There will be a greater British presence in the TCI

Turks and Caicos, August 3, 2017 – Providenciales – When Colin Roberts, then Director for the Overseas Territories at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office stated that: “There will be a greater British presence in the Turks and Caicos Islands after the Elections”, meaning the 2012 Elections, many persons did not grasp the full gravity of those words or how far-reaching they would be! I would like to put those words in the context of pronouncement, real or imagined; that some nearly two thousand British troops will be descending on Turks and Caicos Islands to clean up the mess of illegal persons living within our borders.

I will start with the ominous words of Sir Robin Auld that there was “high probability of systemic corruption in government and the legislature and among public officers” in the Turks and Caicos Islands and that it must be stemmed from the root and branches. We saw the SIPT investigations and now the trials that have been ongoing for nearly two years of former Government ministers and associates for engaging in alleged acts of corruption, amongst other things. We see custom officers, immigration officials and as of late, police officers and officials being charged with corruption offences. Even though, to my recollection, no one has yet to serve a day in prison resulting from the prosecution of those offences; the mere fact that they are out there, raises the possibility of conviction and imprisonment.

Many of us may not be worried, but after I have laid out this analysis, there should be the need for greater concern in the indigenous Turks and Caicos Islander population – if, these two thousand or so British troops come to our shores. This notion might not be as farfetched as you might presume, because the Governor in his press release of 29th July 2017 has intimated as much by his words “following recent incidents additional and specialised support (including from outside the Islands) is being put in place already”.

Let me start with the words enshrined in our 2011 Constitution which came into force in 2012. In Section 55, Qualifications of electors and entitlement to vote, reads:

“(1) (b) (ii) he or she is resident in the Islands and has been so resident for no less than twelve months, in the aggregate, out of the two years immediately preceding the qualifying date or he or she is a member of Her Majesty’s Forces…

Now, turning to the definition of Turks and Caicos Islander, under “Section 132 (2) An Ordinance shall prescribe the conditions under which a person may be granted the status of a Turks and Caicos Islander, and those conditions shall include, but not be limited to conditions set out in subsection (3). (3) The conditions referred to in subsection (2) are that – (a) an applicant is a British Overseas Territories Citizen by virtue of a connection with the Islands or a British Citizen who either – (ii) has been legally resident in the Islands for a period of at least ten years.”

With this in mind, when a number of public officers are removed by virtue of them being allegedly corrupt or charged with corruption, who better to fill the void than members of Her Majesty’s Forces. These persons would have been stationed or billeted here to clean up the immigration mess and secure our borders. By the time they would have captured and processed the illegal migrants, repatriated them as part of the exercise, a number of vacancies would have been created. The beautiful thing here is that not only will they fill these slots with members of Her Majesty’s Forces; their personnel will not be required to be in possession of work permits to work in the Turks and Caicos Islands. How egregious! More to that, they would be able to vote in the upcoming 2020 Elections! What disruptive a FORCE would these people be when they can vote for a British person who would have come to the Turks and Caicos Islands immediately following the suspension of the 2006 Constitution on 14 August, 2009?

Brexit is certainly a reality now. The British can start the draw-down of its troops responsibility to the EU, and no better place to put them, but here, as part of the resurgence of the real and true British Imperialism.

We have to certainly watch out for what will be on offered as greater ties to the apron-strings of the UK once talks begin in honest as part of the British disentanglement from Europe! What Trojan horse will they offer us in the guise of a better working relationship, when in truth and in fact, the times when we really and truly needed their help, they were absent.

We do not need any further strings to be attached for the British to live up to their Constitutional responsibilities. The current government must exact stringent terms as part of the exit strategy for the deployment of troops here to rid us of the illegal persons in our midst. We do not want to become like Jamaica when they had a snake infestation problem. The Jamaican government introduced the mongoose to eradicate the snakes, but when the snakes were gone the mongoose became an even bigger problem! If we don’t pay attention to the lessons of history – in particular Caribbean history, we are bound to repeat them!

Release: Royal Robinson



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