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Crown Dependencies Welcome Constitutional Report

by Amanda Banks, Tax-News.com, London

08 November 2010


The Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey have welcomed the UK Ministry of Justice’s response to the House of Commons Justice Select Committee’s report on the management of the Crown Dependencies. The Justice Committee review examined how the UK Government fulfils its constitutional responsibilities for the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey, primarily through the Ministry of Justice (MOJ).

In response to the report, the UK Justice Ministry agreed with the central findings of the Committee, including its key recommendation that Crown Dependencies should have more direct engagement with UK government departments, as well as a greater say in the international fora, both in terms of talks with foreign governments and also supranational bodies.

Further, the Ministry of Justice welcomed the strength of the governmental systems in the Crown Dependencies, and in particular lauded the opening of a representative office in Brussels by Jersey and Guernsey.

The move has been welcomed by the three islands' Chief Ministers, in statements on November 3.

On behalf of Guernsey, Lyndon Trott said:

“I am delighted to see the consensus between the Ministry of Justice and the Select Committee – particularly as the initial report from the Committee incorporated many of the points that we made in our submission."

“Moreover the UK government’s response shows that not only do they recognize the progress Guernsey has made in its external engagement, but that we have developed ‘reputation, profile and credibility with international partners and over-arching sovereign bodies’.”

“I am heartened that they recognize the importance of modernization, and the importance of maturing democracies such as Guernsey building their own relationships on the international stage.

On behalf of Jersey, Terry Le Sueur added:

“I am pleased that the Ministry of Justice accepts the committee’s recommendations and so clearly recognizes the status of the Crown Dependencies as democratic, self-governing communities, responsible for determining our own future.”

“The Ministry of Justice makes it clear that in future it will focus on its core constitutional responsibilities and that Crown Dependencies should interact directly with Whitehall departments as well as developing links with Brussels. With that in mind, Jersey must continue the work we have started to increase our capability and expertise in dealing directly with the UK government and the European Union.”

Lastly, the Isle of Man Chief Minister, Tony Brown said:

“I am pleased that the MOJ’s response opens the way for the constitutional advancement of the Isle of Man through the use of wider entrustments.”

“It also accepts that greater emphasis should be placed on the views of legal officers based in the Isle of Man when passing Bills for Royal Assent, which I am confident will accelerate our legislative process.”

“The MOJ’s response covers a range of issues of importance to the Isle of Man and we will be giving careful consideration to those in due course. What it will do is allow us to develop our partnership with the MOJ, build stronger relationships with other UK Departments and continue our journey together towards the island’s constitutional development and further enhancement of our international identity in a positive and proactive way.”

TAGS: Isle of Man | tax | investment | business | law | international financial centres (IFC) | Guernsey | Jersey | United Kingdom | offshore | business investment

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