Antigua and Barbuda to vote on whether or not to take away British monarch as head of state, PM says

The previous British colony gained its independence from the UK in 1981 however is one in every of 14 international locations along with the UK the place the British monarch is head of state. Additionally it is part of the Commonwealth, a 56-member group of principally former British territories.

After confirming King Charles III because the King of Antigua and Barbuda on Saturday, Prime Minister Gaston Browne informed ITV Information that he deliberate on holding a referendum on whether or not the nation turns into a republic within the subsequent three years.

“This is a matter that has to be taken to a referendum for the people to decide,” he stated, including that it isn’t imply to “represent any form of disrespect to the monarch. This is not an act of hostility, or any difference between Antigua and Barbuda and the monarchy.”

He defined that it might be “a final step to complete the circle of independence to become a truly sovereign nation.”

Questions have been raised in March in regards to the monarchy’s continued function within the area after the then-Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Catherine, visited three Commonwealth realms — Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas — on a visit geared toward celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s 70 years on the throne.

The journey was beset with points, the place they have been informed by Jamaica’s prime minister that the nation was “moving on” and can attain its “true ambition” to be “independent.”

Final 12 months, Barbados severed its last imperial hyperlinks to Britain by declaring itself a republic.

Barbados’s resolution marked the primary time in almost three many years {that a} realm opted to take away the British monarch as head of state. The final nation to take action was the island of Mauritius in 1992. Like that nation, Barbados has remained a part of the Commonwealth.