By RIEL MAJOR
Tribune Staff Reporter
TRANSPORT Minister Renward Wells said yesterday the British High Commission is scheduled to return to The Bahamas in August.
Mr Wells, in an interview with reporters outside of Cabinet after a recent trip to London, said he looks forward to Bahamians no longer having to travel to Jamaica to “sort any business that is required with the United Kingdom”.
“I would tell you too that I was the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs at the Commonwealth Foreign Ministers meeting. The first one was held at Marlborough House (which) was the castle that was gifted by The Queen to the Commonwealth,” said Mr Wells.
“It was an extremely important meeting for Commonwealth countries all together on the same page before the... Commonwealth heads of government meeting in Rwanda next year in Kigali so I was happy to represent the Minister of Foreign Affairs in that regard. I can tell you since 1729 the Bahamas has always had a British High Commission in the country.”
He added: “We all know a few years ago the British packed up and left. We now know that by August they will return to the country and one of the wonderful things that I was privy to and happy to see take place was the exuberance on the part of the British for coming back to the Bahamas as an official High Commission.”
Peter Young, the last British High Commissioner to the Bahamas, served from 1996 to 1999 when the High Commission was transferred to Jamaica. However, he remained in the Bahamas as British honorary consul until his retirement in February 2013. He and his wife Verona have made Nassau their home.
Last year, then-British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson announced the decision to reopen a diplomatic office in the Bahamas among other countries.
In announcing the move, Mr Johnson said in April 2019: “As a Commonwealth family of nations, it is in our shared interest to boost prosperity, tackle security issues and clear up the environment. These new diplomatic posts are in regions which provide huge potential and opportunity post-Brexit for British businesses and will help us to deepen our relationships across the Commonwealth. After we leave the EU, global Britain will remain outward facing, open for business and a champion of the rules-based international order.”