He says “I wish to assure the Government and people of Canada as I did a year earlier that they have no better friends in the region than the people of St. Kitts and Nevis. To this end, I shall on Monday send formal communication to the Canadian Government assuring them of our commitment to amicably resolve with them any concerns about the safety and security of our CBI programme.”
Brantley’s pledge has come after the Canadians placed a ban on Kittitians and Nevisians from entering their country without a visa. For many years the people of St. Kitts and Nevis had enjoyed “visa-free” status.
The Opposition Leader pointed out that “This unprecedented step taken by the Canadian Government tells us all that they are unhappy with the security measures in place in St. Kitts and Nevis, in relation to our Citizenship by Investment programme.”
Brantley, who is also the Deputy Premier for the island of Nevis, says it is Kittitians and Nevisians who “will pay a price for those undesirables whom the Denzil Douglas led Administration has allowed to access our passports.”
But Brantley is of the view that for him “…and for the elected majority in our Parliament this is a price too high.”
The Opposition Leader, who in 2012 filed a Motion of No Confidence Motion against the Government, says “Our entire Citizenship by Investment programme is now under enhanced scrutiny and we cannot be surprised if other friendly countries like the United Kingdom and countries in Western Europe follow suit.”
Brantley argues that it must be clear to all that without visa free access to friendly Western countries the St. Kitts Nevis passport loses its value to foreign investors under the Citizenship by Investment programme.
“My fellow citizens the chickens have now come home to roost,” states Brantley.
“I wish to convey publicly to the Government and people of the great Nation of Canada that we in St. Kitts and Nevis cherish the close bonds of friendship that have always united our two peoples. We will work tirelessly with Canada and other friends and allies to ensure that we take every step to protect the historic bonds of friendship and cooperation that we have always enjoyed.”
He adds, “The parliamentary majority and next Government of this young Nation pledges immediately upon taking office in the next several weeks to sit urgently with the Canadian Government to undertake a wholesale review of all security features of our Citizenship by Investment programme. We would wish to ensure that our programme poses no risks whatsoever to the Government and people of Canada or to any other Nation in the world.”
The opposition politician says the legitimacy and security of the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment programme has to be protected and preserved. “The alternative would be problems not just for the CBI programme and the dramatic negative impact it can have on the St. Kitts Nevis economy but also severe problems for the born and bred citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis.”