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International Identity of the Isle of Man Recognised 1 May 2007

A LANDMARK declaration recognising that the Isle of Man has its own identity and interests in the international arena is announced today (Tuesday May 1, 2007).

The framework of principles agreed by the governments of the United Kingdom and the Isle of Man reinforces the Island’s separate status within the context of its constitutional relationship with the UK.

Chief Minister Tony Brown MHK, who signed the document on behalf of the Manx Government, said:

‘This is a significant step forward in the Isle of Man’s evolution as a mature and responsible democracy. It confirms in writing that the Island has its own distinct and legitimate interests on the world stage, which may differ from those of the United Kingdom.
‘The understanding that has been reached should help the Isle of Man to flourish as a reputable centre for international business. There is now greater clarity about the Island’s position, which will be useful in dealing with governments, organisations and businesses around the globe.’

The document, setting out a framework of principles for the development of the international identity of the Isle of Man, was signed on behalf of the UK by the Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer.

Agreement to progress such a framework was announced in January 2006 following a meeting with the Lord Chancellor.

The United Kingdom has ultimate responsibility for the Isle of Man internationally and historically all international matters affecting the Island were handled by the UK. In recent years – with the rise of Island as an international business centre and its increasing involvement with global issues – it has started to deal directly with other governments and organisations, and there has been growing awareness that it has distinct interests internationally.

Media enquiries:

Alistair Ramsay phone 01624 686243
fax 01624 685710
e-mail alistair.ramsay@cso.gov.im

NOTES

Framework for developing the international identity of the Isle of Man

Following the statement of intent agreed on 11 January 2006, the Chief Minister of the Isle of Man and the UK Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs have agreed the following principles. They establish a framework for the development of the international identity of the Isle of Man. The framework is intended to clarify the constitutional relationship between the UK and the Isle of Man, which works well and within which methods are evolving to help achieve the mutual interests of both the UK and the Isle of Man.

  1. The UK has no democratic accountability in and for the Isle of Man which is governed by its own democratically elected assembly. In the context of the UK’s responsibility for the Isle of Man’s international relations it is understood that -
    • The UK will not act internationally on behalf of the Isle of Man without prior consultation.
    • The UK recognises that the interests of the Isle of Man may differ from those of the UK, and the UK will seek to represent any differing interests when acting in an international capacity. This is particularly evident in respect of the relationship with the European Union where the UK interests can be expected to be those of an EU member state and the interests of the Isle of Man can be expected to reflect the fact that the UK’s membership of the EU only extends to the Isle of Man in certain circumstances as set out in Protocol 3 of the UK’s Treaty of Accession.
  2. The Isle of Man has an international identity which is different from that of the UK.
  3. The UK recognises that the Isle of Man is a long-standing, small democracy and supports the principle of the Isle of Man further developing its international identity.
  4. The UK has a role to play in assisting the development of the Isle of Man’s international identity. The role is one of support not interference.
  5. The Isle of Man and the UK commit themselves to open, effective and meaningful dialogue with each other on any issue that may come to affect the constitutional relationship.
  6. International identity is developed effectively through meeting international standards and obligations which are important components of the Isle of Man’s international identity.
  7. The UK will clearly identify its priorities for delivery of its international obligations and agreements so that these are understood, and can be taken into account, by the Isle of Man in developing its own position.
  8. The activities of the UK in the international arena need to have regard to the Isle of Man’s international relations, policies and responsibilities.
  9. The UK and the Isle of Man will work together to resolve or clarify any differences which may arise between their respective interests.
  10. The Isle of Man and the UK will work jointly to promote the legitimate status of the Isle of Man as a responsible, stable and mature democracy with its own broad policy interests and which is willing to engage positively with the international community across a wide range of issues.

    Signed on 1st May 2007 by:
    The Rt Hon Lord Falconer of Thoroton QC, Secretary of State
    Hon J A Brown MHK, Chief Minister

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