Britain Pulls Warships from the Caribbean

Some Montserrat authorities are worried about Britain’s plan to pull its naval warships from the Caribbean because of lack of funding. Montserrat Police Force Deputy Commissioner of Police Paul Morrissaid that is a dreadful idea and that it would negatively impact the fight against drugs. He explained that “There greatest impact is being a deterrent which prevents more people from using the region as a transshipment point.”

Morris said that there has been talk of reducing the tour of the ships from six months in the Caribbean to six months in the region, including Falkland Islands, Central and South America. He also noted that the ships are usually within two sailing days of Montserrat and this reduction would mean that Montserrat could be without cover if an evacuation was necessary. Barbadian Police Commissioner Darwin Dottin also stated that his country and neighboring territories “would now have to work harder to stem the inflow of narcotics.”

Although the Navy can no longer afford to send a destroyer to the Caribbean, it stressed it would not withdraw completely from the region. A Ministry of Defense spokesman said “The Royal Navy will continue to provide a permanent presence in the Caribbean, able to respond to the full range of potential events including humanitarian disaster relief operations. During 2011 this will be provided by a Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship, enhanced with a naval party and helicopter during the core hurricane season.”

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