The opposition United Progressive Party (UPP) is calling on the Gaston Browne led administration in Antigua and Barbuda “to suspend the approval of any further Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) applications, pending the convening and outcomes of a forensic audit – to include the administration and operations of the Programme”.

The call was made yesterday in the wake of the announcement by the Canadian government that it has rescinded the privilege of visa free travel by Antiguans and Barbudans to Canada.

In a written statement circulated to the media, the UPP promised that should the party be returned to the reins of government, “it will carry out a referendum on the Citizen by Investment programme and allow the citizenry to determine whether” the programme should be continued.

While stating that “the UPP … is saddened by the loss of our distinct privilege of visa-free access to Canada,” the statement bemoans “the financial hardship the new requirement will impose on those who must now go through the process of application and possible costly travel to Trinidad with no guarantee of being granted a visa”.

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