1.The Crown Dependencies of the Isle of Man, the Bailiwick of Jersey and the Bailiwick of Guernsey have a unique relationship both with the UK and with the EU. While the residents of the Crown Dependencies did not have a vote in the June 2016 referendum, these unique relationships mean that Brexit will nevertheless have an impact, both on the Islands’ bilateral links with the EU, and on their future relationship with the UK.
2.This short report seeks to outline the nature of the Crown Dependencies’ current relationship with the EU, how it is likely to change following Brexit, the knock-on consequences for the Crown Dependencies’ relationship with the UK, and the key constitutional and policy issues that the UK Government needs to bear in mind during the Brexit negotiations.
3.The report takes account of oral evidence heard from the Chief Ministers of Guernsey (Deputy Gavin St Pier), Jersey (Senator Ian Gorst) and the Isle of Man (Howard Quayle MHK), from a panel of academic and legal experts, and from Robin Walker MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary, Department for Exiting the EU, who has responsibility within the Department for liaison with the Crown Dependencies. We have also received a number of written submissions relating to the inquiry. We are grateful to all of our witnesses for their assistance.
4.The Crown Dependencies are not a part of the UK, and therefore do not fall within the jurisdiction of, nor have representation in, the UK Parliament. Rather, they each have their own legislatures to which their governments are accountable. It is a matter for the Crown Dependencies themselves to determine the nature of their future relationship with the EU, and any changes to their relationship with the UK that this will entail. We do not therefore make any direct recommendations to the Crown Dependencies themselves. Rather, we draw attention to the pertinent issues as we see them, in order to raise awareness across Parliament, the UK Government and the media, in the run-up to the Brexit negotiations.
5.Following the referendum on 23 June 2016, the European Union Committee and its six sub-committees launched a coordinated series of inquiries, addressing the most important cross-cutting issues that will arise in the course of negotiations on Brexit. These inquiries, though short, are an opportunity to explore and inform wider debate on the major opportunities and risks that Brexit presents to the United Kingdom.
6.We make this report for debate.
1 Other than those retaining a right to vote in the UK through past residence within the last 15 years—in the case of Jersey, up to 8,000 British citizens resident in Jersey were eligible to vote in the referendum. See (Senator Ian Gorst).