Motley calls for regional ID - Barbadian politician wants private sector to fund multilpurpose document
The Opposition Leader of Barbados Mia Motley wants that Caribbean countries to introduce multipurpose identification cards for citizens in the region to facilitate deeper integration of the countries.
Mottley, the main speaker on the opening day of the People's National Party (PNP) 79th annual conference, argued that the identification card could be used for other regional purposes, including deepening functional cooperation.
Her suggestion comes at a time when Jamaica is far advanced in developing multibillion-dollar national identification system, touted as a game-changer in doing business and strengthening national security.
But Motley, selling the idea of a regional multipurpose identification system, told PNP supporters that there was an early recognition by Caribbean leaders that "it was always going to be better working together".
Worked for World Cup
She expressed impatience with the pace of regional integration, arguing that there was no reason for continued barriers to travel within the region.
The Barbadian opposition leader said that regional leaders were able to agree on measures for hassle-free travel for spectators during the 2007 Cricket World Cup, but have failed to make the arrangement a permanent fixture.
"We did it for them! You mean to tell me we cannot do it for us? We created a space that facilitated people in the Caribbean to move - with a band - without showing a passport, without being asked a question by nobody, because we already know is one: the plane or boat ... ," Motley said.
She suggested that the cost for the multipurpose ID could be shared by the Governments and the private sector, which she argued, stands to benefit greatly from free movement.
The Barbadian Queen's Counsel lamented the high cost of travel between Caribbean countries.
She said it costs less to travel to Miami than to Jamaica or St Kitts from Barbados, where she lives.
"Something has to be fundamentally wrong when a region cannot find the political will to allow its citizens to move easily," Mottley said to loud applause.