Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, is pictured as he delivered the feature address at the 185th Anniversary luncheon of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry. It was held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

Barbados is not opposed to the freedom of movement of persons in this region.

This point has been reiterated by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart. He was responding to a number of questions concerning immigration matters today, at the 185th anniversary luncheon of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

Mr. Stuart said: "We have had to make the point that because we are committed to freedom of movement, because we are committed to the realisation of a single market and economy, it does not mean that you give up your sovereignty as a nation. And it certainly does not mean that you turn a deaf ear or a blind eye to issues of national security."

The Prime Minister added that the immigration laws of Barbados have not changed, rather, "all we ask is that the immigration laws be obeyed".

He pointed out that whenever the freedom of?? movement topic was discussed, it was cited as the "issue that defines the realisation of a Caribbean Single Market?? and Economy".

Mr. Stuart observed: "The right for people to move freely, if you have that, you have a Single Market and Economy…Now freedom of movement is organically linked to the issue of reliable and affordable regional transportation.

There is no really reliable and nowadays very affordable reasonable transportation. But the government that is responsible for transportation within the Cabinet of the Heads of Government of CARICOM is not asked any questions about that."

He continued: "Barbados has lead responsibility for the Caribbean Single Market and Economy, so when no progress is being made on that issue, or when it appears that no progress is being made on that matter… or that there have been a few potholes or a few zigzags on that issue, you hear that CSME, for which Barbados is responsible, is making no progress."

However, he stressed that it was first essential to ensure that all of the elements that involved creating a Single Market and Economy were in place before anyone "could point an accusing finger at the Barbados Government".

The Prime Minister further added with respect to the free movement of individuals, that laws had to be put in place to ensure that even though people are moving, their movement was "consistent with national security and all the other national interests of Barbados".??clashley@barbados.gov.bb

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