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While highlighting the negative impacts Saint Lucia and the rest of the Caribbean are likely to face in light of Brexit, Governor General Dame Pearlette Louisy said there is a lesson to learnt from that event.
Firstly, the Governor General said the new decision is already showing signs of negative impact on the entire globe, as the value of the pounds sterling has decreased.
She said this alone will make it more expensive for British tourists to visit the Caribbean and will also impact negatively on remittances that flow throughout the Caribbean.
The island’s head of state said the lesson to be learnt however is governments must listen to their citizens. “If this had happened, the outcome could have been very different,” referring to the recent election.
The election saw a major swing of voters supporting the United Workers Party (UWP) against the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP), which managed to capture 11 of the 17 constituency seats.
And most of the UWP candidates won their seats by major margins, which came as a surprise to many.
Dame Louisy said her government will not be deterred by challenges, but noted that they have found that arrangements were entered into by its predecessor on the eve of an election.
“Arrangements which may be interpreted as serving not only to compromise the confidence which the people are entitled to be able to place in the integrity of the Cabinet, but indeed the confidence entitled to be enjoyed in the discharge of matters in relation to the country’s foreign relation,” the Governor General said in her annual throne speech on Tuesday.
Dame Lousiy said the financial burdens imposed by these arrangements and the tax sales are being assessed and the need for appropriate legislative measures to protect citizens from such arrangements in the future will be explored.
Meanwhile, she said the new government has been encouraged by the overwhelming show of support and expression of goodwill from friendly governments, international and regional agencies, as well as local institutions and citizens generally.
“My government extends deep appreciation and pledges to work with all in pursuit of our mutual interests and objectives,” she added.