The UK should look to Jersey for inspiration in cutting deals with the EU after Brexit, the leader of an influential economic and political think tank tank has said.
The bailiwick’s skill and experience in negotiating deals with the EU over the years means that Jersey could show the way to the rest of the UK as a role model for life outside the Union, says director-general of the pro-free market think tank Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) Mark Littlewood (pictured left).
“Once we have finally extracted ourselves from the EU, it could play a more important role in our national life by providing a lesson in how a prudent, low-tax economy can generate growth and wealth,” Littlewood wrote in an article for The Times.
‘Disastrous’ EU policies
Pointing to Jersey’s semi-autonomous role outside the EU, Littlewood pointed out that the island has “legislative independence”, meaning that it is outside the EU’s “disastrous agriculture and fisheries regimes”.
Looking to a future where the UK will be outside the EU, the political analogies were clear: “In terms of sovereignty… there are a number of comparisons with the likely constitutional position of the UK post-Brexit,” Littlewood said.
This would be to the UK’s great advantage, he said, since it will be allowed to cherry-pick which areas it will find it in its best interests to collaborate with the EU: “Jersey is not obliged to implement EU regulations on issues such as capital movements or money laundering, although it often chooses to do so,” he pointed out.
Greater financial prosperity
Being outside of the Union had hardly damaged Jersey’s prosperity, he claimed: “If we are interested in the sort of approach that can lead to higher incomes and a buoyant environment for business, we could do a lot worse than seek to emulate our tiny cousin in a number of ways,” the lobbyist wrote.
“Average incomes are getting close to £40,000 ($52,796, €44,369) per annum, compared with less than £30,000 in the UK.”