The United Workers Party, is deeply concerned regarding reports suggesting that Saint Lucians may lose their visa-free access to the United Kingdom in the coming weeks. The reports indicate that the decision is a direct response to consistent concerns raised about Saint Lucia’s Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP).
The current visa-free arrangement has provided thousands of Saint Lucians with the opportunity to visit the United Kingdom for leisure, business, and to connect with family and friends without the burden and expense of obtaining a visa.
The potential loss of this privilege has raised alarm and apprehension among our people and will have significant implications for our citizens, affecting their freedom to travel, their ability to maintain family ties, and their participation in international business and cultural exchanges. The United Kingdom has been a longstanding partner and destination for many Saint Lucians, and the prospect of losing this visa waiver is distressing to the entire nation.
This development begs the question, whether the UK’s dwindling trust in the SLP administration and the indefinite delay in implementing Border Control, has given rise to the UK’s withdrawal of visa free entry for Saint Lucians? In an already delicate and tense foreign relations environment, one wonders how much this says about deepening concerns about the relaxing of previously stringent CIP protocols that once obtained under the UWP. Could this be indicative of rising security concerns stemming from Saint Lucia’s willingness under this Labour administration to court individuals who should undergo greater scrutiny in the CIP process? Only the Minister for Investment and the Prime Minister can clarify those issues.
We urge the government to keep the public informed and engaged regarding their actions and progress in addressing this matter. Transparency, accountability and trust are essential in times of uncertainty, and the citizens of Saint Lucia deserve to be fully informed about the steps being taken to safeguard their interests.
We call upon the Government and relevant authorities to prioritize diplomatic engagement with the United Kingdom to seek the best possible outcome for our citizens and safeguard their right to visa-free access.
It is incumbent upon them to explain to the nation the implications of this recent development for diplomatic relations with the UK and more immediately for Saint Lucians wishing to travel to the UK.
Desk of the PRO of the United Workers Party