Barbados??? relationship with Britain from a historical standpoint has stood the test of time and there is a promise to further solidify the ties through closer cooperation.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart gave this undertaking during a courtesy call with the new British High Commissioner, Victoria Dean, at Government Headquarters recently.
The Prime Minister said that there were aspects of Britain ???dotted all over Barbados??? and it was still a ???resting place for British citizens away from harsh winters while Britain continues to be a destination of choice for many Barbadians???.
???We have a very large diaspora in the United Kingdom (UK) in areas such as Birmingham, London, Manchester and Redding and we have a long relationship.
Britain is still our largest source market for tourism and we get a lot of foreign direct investment out of Britain as well. So, these are the things that you [High Commissioner] have to continue to make happen,??? he quipped.
The Prime Minister described the relationship with the United Kingdom as one that was based on shared values, commitment to a democratic ethos and to the rule of law. Mr. Stuart pointed out that like in the UK, Barbados was a common law country until recently when the country delinked from the Privy Council as the final appellate court to the Caribbean Court of Justice.
High Commissioner Dean promised to build on the foundation left by her predecessor, High Commissioner Paul Brummell. She said the existing relationship covered different aspects of political and human life and she was particularly interested in people-to-people connections.
Mrs. Dean said she was a fan of Barbados having visited the island two years ago and was impressed with the richness of the island???s culture. ???I am looking forward to becoming an expert as well as a fan and being able to provide that link between our two countries as the voice of Britain here and a voice for Barbados in Britain.???
The two officials also discussed cricket and the exploits, passion and camaraderie shared by both countries about the game.
Barbados and the United Kingdom established diplomatic ties in 1966.