ST JOHN’S, Antigua, May 13 2017 – Prime Minister Gaston Browne has cancelled plans to give investors permission to construct a gun assembling plant in the proposed Economic Zone here.
Browne called Observer Radio just after 7 p.m. (local time) to announce that he has instructed the Attorney General and other Cabinet colleagues to scrap the deal.
“I have said to them that in the interest of the nation, rather than having a situation where we bring in that factory and divide the nation over it, let us scuttle that decision.”
Browne had called the radio station earlier in the afternoon and confirmed that the plan was going ahead.
But scores of residents also called the radio station to criticize the prime minister for agreeing to the gun factory.
The Prime Minister later revealed that he was not on the island when the decision was made in Cabinet to set up the gun manufacturing plant in Antigua, for export.
“We do understand the risk,” Browne said adding, “I think it is in the best interest of the nation to just scuttle the deal.”
The country’s leader said he thanked everyone for their input and is always open to “constructive criticism”.
He admitted that he wasn’t comfortable with the deal to begin with, “but having heard from the people I feel even firmer in my decision that we ought not to proceed”.
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