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Minister Habet comments on Ashcroft’s threat of legal action

We also asked Minister Habet about Lord Ashcroft’s threat of arbitration against Prime Minister John Briceno. In January 2022, the Chairman of Waterloo Investment Holdings Limited, Michael Ashcroft, wrote to the Prime Minister regarding its proposed project. In the letter, Lord Ashcroft notified the Prime Minister of a “dispute and claim under the Agreement between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of Belize for the Promotion and Protection of Investments 1982 (the “UK-Belize BIT”). In his letter to Briceno, Ashcroft stated that the grounds given by NEAC for refusing to give environmental clearance are irrational, unfair, and inequitable and said that “GOB is invited to amicably settle the above dispute under the UK-Belize BIT. According to Minister Habet, his ministry has not received any further threat of legal action but he is aware of the letter to the PM. 

Orlando Habet. Minister of Sustainable Development: “I haven’t seen anything, nothing that has come to the Department of the Environment or to our ministry except when I was sent a Whatsapp message with a copy of that letter that was sent to the Prime Minister just mentioning that we have to recognise that there is this agreement, investment agreement between the UK and Belize. I still haven’t seen it, as I mentioned. From what I am told, that agreement goes back to 1984 to sometime after Independence.”