Britain to Pull its Warships from Caribbean Waters

The announcement was made earlier this week by Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Council for National Security and Law Enforcement (CONSLE) Dr Errol Cort of Antigua.


According to reports, London is to pull its warships from Caribbean waters as part of ongoing budget cuts.

A CMC report stated that Cort, who is also Antigua and Barbuda’s Minister of National Security, said he would be engaging the British government to ask them to reconsider the decision.

“I would want to engage the British to share with them certain confidential information that we have, pertaining to the maritime issues and to impress upon them that pulling out at this point could be and would be highly detrimental to the region,” Court said in an interview on local radio.

Cort said that if Britain refuses to change its position then CARICOM countries would have to approach the United States and the French governments to increase their monitoring of the region.

“If we are not able to persuade them in terms of them agreeing not to pull out, then we would certainly have to look at other alternatives.”We would certainly have to look at the United States to see if it is possible for them to increase their surveillance in the Caribbean waters,” he said.

Meanwhile, the vessel which Britain intends to use to replace its warship in the Caribbean will not be able to do as good a job in fighting drug trafficking.

This is the assessment of a former British naval officer and publisher of Warship World Magazine, Mike Critchley.

The British naval presence in the Caribbean has in the past had successes in fighting drug trafficking in the region, by intercepting go-fast vessels at sea laden with cocaine.

Critchley told BBC Caribbean the Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships, which Britain says will replace its warships, are essentially slow supply vessels for warships and are not designed for counter narcotics operations.



(Parts of this article were re-written from a caribbeannewsnow report)

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