Barbados’ decision to release itself from British monarchical rule appears to be of little concern to the British High Commission in Bridgetown.
When contacted for a reaction to the announcement by Governor General Dame Sandra Mason in Tuesday’s Throne Speech of Barbados’ move to become a Republic, the High Commission’s response was short and simple.
“This is an internal matter for the Barbados people and Government,” said a spokesperson relaying the sentiment of High Commissioner Janet Douglas.
In a BBC report earlier in the day, a source at Buckingham Palace described the development as one that “was not out of the blue” and “has been mooted and publicly talked about many times”.
It has, in fact, been suggested since the days of Barbados’ Father of Independence Errol Barrow. Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur who came to power in 1994 appointed a commission to examine the issue, and Freundel Stuart who headed the government until 2018 also spoke of instituting such reforms.
While assessing the decision, UWI lecturer Dr Kristina Hinds expressed doubt that the move would result in significant fallout in relations between Bridgetown and London, or have any bearing on the country’s standing within the British Commonwealth.
“There are republics that are a part of the Commonwealth, so it will not affect our international ties to any entities, including to Britain,” she told Barbados TODAY.
“As far as I can see, moving toward republican status has not negatively affected any countries within the region in terms of their connections with other states around the world. I guess it is the content and character of the state that really affects that,” Hinds added. (KS)