MP Lake concerned about French Parliamentary Committee report on relations between North and South

Member of Parliament Hon. Maurice Lake of the United People’s (UP) Party says he has read media reports about a report drafted by a French Parliamentary Committee chaired by Rene Dosiere.
“I haven’t read the report myself, but from media reports, it’s very disturbing. There are statements made in that report which are incorrect, and it once again brings forth the lack of knowledge by Dutch and French European politicians when it comes to the situation of North and South St. Martin/Sint Maarten.
“Media reports attributed to Dosiere that the Dutch side enriches itself at the expense of the French side of the island.  What nonsense is this, I have to ask?  There is free movement of goods and services just like there is within the European Union of 27 countries. And this free movement of goods and services based on the Treaty of Concordia is older than the European Union Treaty that serves the same purpose in many aspects.
“Other comments attributed to Dosiere, is, if nothing is done to rectify what he perceives as Sint Maarten living off St. Martin, he suggest the termination of the Treaty of Concordia and the establishment of real borders and visa requirements for entering French territory. You have to wonder at times the comments that some people make and what their agenda is.
“The local politicians from North and South have been working together over the years and the level of cooperation is at a technical level where you have civil servants working on joint areas together. We are on the right track and we should continue to work closely together in areas of mutual interests,” MP Hon. Maurice Lake said on Wednesday.
MP Lake added that the comments by the French official come on the heels of St. Maarten’s Day celebration between the North and South sides of the island.

MP Lake is of the opinion that Parliament should request a copy of this report and have a debate about its content and take a position.  MP Lake also proposes for the Parliament on the South side to meet the Territorial Council of the North to discuss the report in a historic session of both legislative branches of government.

“We need to get away from the lovely speeches and start showing more unity and solidarity as people of Sint Maarten/St. Martin.  Both Governments have to take a stand against this injustice by the Netherlands and France to take away our uniqueness as an island.  They need to respect the Treaty of Concordia between our local governments and our people.

“I thank God for Sint Maarten/St. Martin as being as one.  I was born on the North side of the island and grew up on the South side.  My mom is from the North side and my father from the South side.  I also have a lot of family on the North side where we can go back and forth as one.  Imagine if we let France take away that uniqueness from us as a people.

“As Governments, we need to unite and come together with a plan on how we move forward as one island based on this report that was drafted by this French parliamentary committee.  The buzz word has been cooperation, but we should focus more on uniting and working together as one people instead of letting France and Holland direct our destiny for the future.

“The only way to move forward is for both Governments to make firm decisions in the best interest of our people and keep the uniqueness and history that our forefathers have fought hard for.
Our people both North and South, are a free people, and we are very unique in the Caribbean and in the world.  Let’s keep our uniqueness as one people,” MP Hon. Maurice Lake concluded.