According to reports, the island nation of Barbados will become a republic and name it’s own official Head of State by the end of 2020, and in so doing replace the British Crown as its head of state.
“A speech written by Prime Minister Mia Mottley said Barbadians wanted a Barbadian head of state.” — BBC
Some Barbadians feel this is a way to ‘shake-off’ the country’s ‘colonial past’ and ‘presents a way forward’ for the country. And most definitely, it’s their right to do so, and I congratulate Barbadians on deciding to become an independent nation by the end of 2020.
There Will Be Some Changes, However
For one, the country will no longer be defended by the UK military. If you’re wondering why… ask UK taxpayers.
No country on Earth will spend billions to defend another sovereign country, so why would UK taxpayers want to pay the costs associated with defending Barbados? And why would British troops want to risk their lives to defend a nation that will have cut all ties to the United Kingdom by the end of 2020?
Although Barbados does maintain a tiny military, until now, the UK military has been legally obligated to help defend Barbados should it ever face attack, invasion, or even at-sea piracy.
But once Barbadians have their own head of state, it means that if they wanted to, they could declare war on any country… including the United Kingdom. Not that they would, of course. But it’s a right they don’t presently enjoy according to existing agreements. After December 31, 2020, they can.
For two, titles of nobility that have been granted over the years to citizens of Barbados will become null and void once the UK’s Elizabeth II is dropped as the official Head of State of Barbados and that island will thenceforth become their own republic with their own head of state. Titles of nobility are granted by the British Crown — awarded to those who have served the UK with the utmost bravery during wartime or the utmost success during peacetime, and only to those who are either UK citizens, or Commonwealth citizens where their home country declares the British monarch to be their Head of State.
Titled persons in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and other Commonwealth countries that recognize the King or Queen of the United Kingdom as their Head of State, have no such fear of losing their title of nobility.
The Right Honourable The Lord Black of Crossharbour, KCSG, Conrad Moffat Black, for example, will retain his title for as long as Canada remains a member in good standing of The Commonwealth of Nations, and Canada continues to hold the serving UK monarch as it’s official Head of State, and as long as Lord Black continues to maintain a respectable, law abiding life.
The same can’t be said about The Right Honourable Dame Sandra Mason, presently serving as the Governor General of Barbados. Once Barbados leaves the United Kingdom’s orbit, her UK title instantly becomes null and void unless she decides to become a legal citizen of the United Kingdom (and then how could she serve as the Head of State for Barbados?) but that’s up to her and the government of Barbados.
For three, we all remember the American invasion of Grenada in 1983, and the American invasion of Panama in 1989, and the American invasion of Cuba in 1961, and other adventures in the Caribbean.
I expect there will be an American invasion of Barbados within one-year of Barbadians lowering their relationship with the United Kingdom to almost zero. But hey, even if I’m wrong by 6-months I’ll still have made my point.
And my point is that if you’re a tiny Caribbean island nation, or even a huge nation with a tiny military and tiny population like Canada, and you’re located somewhere in North or Central America, you’d better get used to saying “Yes!” a lot, because that’s what it’s like living next to a superpower.
You either say “Yes!” (very politely) or the superpower will do it for you.
It’s the way of the world. You can’t beat them economically, you can’t beat them militarily, you can’t beat their massive intelligence infrastructure, and you can’t cry over it. The only way to exist next to a superpower is to play it real nice, and say “Yes!” a lot.
In fact, just say “Yes!” all the time. It’ll be better for you. You’ll see.
Is that the way to… ‘throw off the colonial past of Barbados’? It really makes me wonder.
But, once Barbados becomes a republic, the United Kingdom will become free and clear of having to defend that beautiful island nation. And good luck to them!
I myself will be thrilled when each Caribbean nation that presently has the British monarch listed as their official Head of State, declare themselves to be ‘fully independent’ and they all become ‘republics’ with no longer any need of the present, or any future British monarch as their official Head of State, because that will save the UK some treasure and possibly British blood, and the UK need never worry about defending those (almost impossible to defend, due to their tiny size and tiny population) Caribbean island nations ever again. Best wishes!