The implications of how Brexit will impact on the Crown Dependencies – Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man – is to be the subject of an inquiry by The House of Lords’ European Union Committee, which will hear evidence this week in London.
The Crown Dependencies are not part of the UK, nor are they included in the UK’s membership of the EU. However, each of the three island jurisdictions has a prescribed relationship with the EU that is set out in Protocol 3 to the UK’s Act of Accession, which is based on their “crown” relationship with the UK. As such, Brexit is set to bring an end to their relationships with the EU, at least in their current form.
As a result, as those who have arranged the inquiry – as well as many islanders –say, there are concerns that the Crown Dependencies could be overlooked in the Brexit negotiations.
The inquiry, which was formally launched on Friday, will consider the following points, according to a statement on Parliament’s website:
- Reaction in the Crown Dependencies to the referendum;
- The Crown Dependencies’ existing relationship with the EU, and how this would, or is likely to be, be affected by Brexit;
- The risks and opportunities that Brexit will present for the islands;
- What relationship the Crown Dependencies would ideally like to have with the EU, post-Brexit; and
- The structures for communicating the islands’ concerns and priorities to the UK Government during exit negotiations.
As part of the inquiry, on Tuesday, the Committee will hear evidence from the islands’ three chief ministers – Jersey’s Ian Gorst, Guernsey’s Gavin St Pier, and the Isle of Man’s Howard Quayle.
Further evidence will also be taken in early 2017 before any decisions are made, the statement concluded.
Although the committee is not issuing a formal call for evidence, it said that it welcomes any submissions on the above issues and any other related matters of interest.