In light of mounting uncertainty over the future of the United Kingdom following last week’s majority vote on a referendum to exit the European Union, British High Commissioner to Guyana Greg Quinn is resolute that his home country will overcome the challenges it is currently facing.Analysts and researchers have predicted that the UK’s decision to leave the EU might be just about enough to push the country’s economy into a recession.However, speaking at a press briefing on Thursday, High Commissioner Quinn is optimistic that the UK will emerge from this in a better state than it was before the vote. He further pointed out that those countries hoping that the UK’s global influence and impact will diminish following Brexit, are deluded and will be in for some major disappointments.Quinn explained that the UK remains the third largest economy in the World and still a member of the Commonwealth and one of only five countries on the United Nations Security Council that is a permanent member. He noted too that the British country is the only one that spends two per cent of its Gross Domestic Products (GDP) on defence and a mere 0.7 per cent on development.“So if people think that the UK is going anywhere, then I’m quite happy to say they are off on the wrong track. We are here to stay and we certainly intend to stay,” he declared optimistically.According to the British High Commissioner, the UK had indeed experienced some economic turbulence over the past few days following the Brexit vote but the country’s economy has since stabilised and may even get to a better state.“I will note that the UK stock exchange is now back at about the same level as it was before the results was known. Yes, Sterling dropped and if you want to buy anything from the UK, things are now significantly cheaper than they were this time last week,” he stated.Quinn went on to say that this was expected, noting: “There will be a period of correction in which the markets get used to this but historically, the markets always end up above where they started from. I am sure the course of whatever period of time it might take, we will end up back where we started or above.”On Thursday 23 June, 51.9 per cent of UK voted on a referendum to leave the economic bloc. This was despite a 48.1 per cent vote from London, Scotland and Northern Ireland, which were backing the stay within the EU.Since then, there have been many uncertainties about the future relation among the UK, Guyana and the EU. However, both UK and EU officials here have assured that this will not affect relations with Guyana or the Caribbean region.In fact, earlier this week, EU’s Ambassador to Guyana, Jernej Videti?, had recommitted the EU’s support to Guyana even after the exit of the UK, which was a major link between Guyana and EU.Meanwhile, the UK Diplomat in an interview with Guyana Times on Wednesday guaranteed that whatever consequences will follow, the relationship between Guyana and Great Britain will remain undefiled.“Looking to the longer term, I don’t see any change in the UK’s approach to Guyana. I don’t see any less a commitment and I don’t see any less support coming here,” he said.He explained that the United Kingdom is awaiting a new prime minister to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty since David Cameron has resigned and refused to lead this process.Until Article 50 is invoked, the process of leaving the EU will not commence.“The rights and responsibilities and obligations that the UK has as a member of the EU and that the EU has to the UK remain exactly the same. And even when that process is launched, it is going to take at least probably two years. We are talking about a long and complicated process,” he outlined.
The “Five Bs” Initiative began some three years ago, and President David Granger has since donated 27 buses and 14 boats to aid the transportation of school children across Guyana.President David Granger handing over the key to Toshao Roger Ronald of Chinoweng VillageAccording to the Department of Public Information (DPI), these donations were all made possible through contributions from private and business persons, but President Granger said last Sunday that the objective of allowing every child to go to school remains the same.The Head of State has handed over to the Village of Chinoweng, in Region Seven, (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) a new boat and engine worth $1.3 million.Giving remarks before the presentation was made to Toshao Roger Ronald, President Granger recalled the road which led to the initiative back in 2015.“Three years ago, when I entered office after a very long campaign, I went into many rivers, and one of the important things I noticed was that many children were not going to school because they didn’t have transportation. And we started in 2015 what we called “Three Bs”,” the president told villagers.He said the programme has so far acquired 27 buses and 14 boats, which he noted will help children attend school free of charge. He reminded that in communities with roads, children are given bicycles.Just last week, while celebrating Emancipation with villagers at Number 53 Village on the Corentyne, the Head of State donated another 25 bicycles to children along the Corentyne Coast.“The most important thing about this boat — and I am reminding Chinoweng — is that children must go to school; children must not be kept away from school. I am proud of this presentation,” the Head of State told Chinoweng residents.The donation was made possible through Beverly Tapp of B & J Civil Works, in observance of her company’s 25th anniversary. Tapp said, “I decided that we are going to donate a boat (and engine). I just want you to use it safely and care it.” She noted that the business community is “here to support the people”.The contribution came at a time when the village is participating in the annual Upper Mazaruni District Games in Waramadong.