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Channel Islands and Isle of Man need seat at trade negotiations, MPs say

28 Mar 2024 3 minute read
Castle Cornet on Guernsey. Photo by neilalderney123 is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

The Channel Islands and the Isle of Man should be represented when the UK brokers international trade deals, ministers have been told.

The cross-party Justice Select Committee of MPs said the Crown Dependencies should have designated officials present at trade negotiations to represent their interests.

The three self-governing dependencies, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man, are not part of the United Kingdom but the Government is responsible for their defence and international relations.

Since Brexit, this has meant UK ministers are responsible for negotiating trade policy on their behalf.


The Justice Committee, which regularly examines the islands’ constitutional relationship with the UK, highlighted concerns from the dependencies about the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Under the multi-national treaty, goods from the three dependencies were covered from the outset but not services as they had hoped for.

The group of MPs recommended both goods and services from the islands should be covered in future free trade agreements the UK signs.

While the committee said relations between the UK Government and Crown Dependencies were “generally good”, it recommended greater communication and consultation.

MPs claimed the extension of the Fisheries Act 2020, a post-Brexit law designed to manage fishing rights, to Jersey and Guernsey was “extremely regrettable” and called it a flashpoint in recent relations.

Sir Bob Neill, the Conservative chairman of the committee, said: “Representation of the interests of the Crown Dependencies in international relations is not optional, according to whether or not their interests are in line with those of the UK: it is the UK Government’s duty.

“In cases of conflict, the Ministry of Justice must endeavour to find a mechanism for representation which will faithfully present and serve the interests of both parties.

“Having the Crown Dependencies represented during negotiations by specifically designated officials would go some way towards addressing this issue.”

Post-Brexit responsibilities 

Sir Bob claimed the UK’s post-Brexit responsibilities for trade “affords a real and very significant opportunity to make the most of the economic relationship with the Crown Dependencies”.

He added: “We recommend that the Department for Business and Trade formally assesses their contribution to the UK’s offer in trade negotiations and how their economic role can be better and more strategically promoted to potential trading partners, including the possibility of including them in the strategic approaches to free trade agreements that it publishes.”

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3 months ago

“goods from the three dependencies were covered from the outset but not services as they had hoped for.”

Is “services” in this context a euphemism for tax evasion?

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
3 months ago

So MPs suggest those three archipelago channel Island dependencies , Jersey, Guernsey & Isle of Man, with a combined population of 250,000, want a seat at the negotiation table where Wales with a population of 3.1 million, who unlike those micro-nations pay tens of billions into the Westminster coffers , supply free water & electricity with no recompense, can’t? Apparently we’re too small to have any input into trade negotiations that affect Wales or control our of own policing, criminal & youth justice system like those aforementioned dependencies according to those unionists hostile to Wales having a voice, control of… Read more »

Che Guevara's Fist
Che Guevara's Fist
3 months ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

I see only the intended effects of English imperialism.

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