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Isle of Man Government calls for clarification of ‘unfortunate’ Darling comments 4 November 2008

CHIEF Minister Tony Brown MHK is seeking clarification of the British Government’s position following ‘unfortunate’ comments from Chancellor Alistair Darling suggesting it was time to review the relationship between the UK and the Isle of Man.

Mr Darling made the remarks yesterday when answering questions at the Treasury Select Committee on the UK’s approach to Icelandic banks, and the position of depositors with Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander Isle of Man.

The Chief Minister said:

‘Alistair Darling’s comments were most unfortunate, to say the least. He did not seem to be aware that the relationship between the United Kingdom and the Isle of Man has already been reviewed, and that an agreement reinforcing that relationship was signed by the Lord Chancellor on behalf of the UK Government in May last year.
‘Mr Darling made no mention either of the new tax co-operation agreements signed between the Isle of Man and the UK just five weeks ago, on September 29.’

The Chief Minister continued:

‘While Mr Darling appears to be in the dark over this issue, the position of the Isle of Man Government is clear. We are not asking the UK for any favours, but they do have a constitutional responsibility to represent us internationally. We have also pointed out, in support of depositors with the local bank, that the closure of Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander in the Isle of Man was the direct result of actions taken by the UK Government.’

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