The Isle of Man is not, and never has been, part of the United Kingdom, nor is it part of the European Union. It is not represented at Westminster or in Brussels.
The Island is a self-governing British Crown Dependency - as are Jersey and Guernsey in the Channel Islands - with its own parliament, government and laws. The UK government, on behalf of the Crown, is ultimately responsible for its international relations. The Queen, who is ‘Lord of Mann’, is the Manx Head of State and is represented on the Island by the Lieutenant Governor.
Relationship with the United Kingdom
The Isle of Man is an internally self-governing dependency of the British Crown and its people are British citizens.
The Crown has ultimate responsibility for the good government of the Island and acts on the advice of Ministers of the UK Government, in their capacity as Privy Councillors. Her Majesty the Queen as Lord of Mann is Head of State. Her personal representative on the Island, His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor, is appointed by the Crown for a five-year term.
The Island's current Lieutenant Governor is Mr Adam Wood. The Isle of Man's economic and social achievements would not have been possible without the stability which its constitution and institutions provide.
The Isle of Man, although part of the British Islands, is not part of the United Kingdom. The Island is a territory for whose international relations the United Kingdom is responsible in international law.
The Island's Government is consulted before the United Kingdom agrees to extend its ratification of any international treaty to include the Isle of Man. The United Kingdom is, by convention, also responsible for the defence of the Isle of Man and for providing consular services.
The Island makes an annual contribution to the United Kingdom in recognition of defence and other common services provided on its behalf. The Island has a Ministerial system of Government.
The political head of the Manx Government is the Chief Minister (presently Hon Allan Bell MHK), who is nominated by Tynwald from amongst its own Members and appointed by His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor. The Chief Minister selects the Ministers who have responsibility for the major Government Departments and, with the Chief Minister, form the Council of Ministers, the Manx Cabinet.
Relationship with the EU
The Island has a special and limited relationship with the EU, under an agreement (‘Protocol 3’) negotiated when the UK joined Europe in 1973, allowing free trade in agricultural and manufactured products between the Isle of Man and EU members. Apart from matters relating to this agreement, including Customs, the Island is not bound by EU laws and it pays nothing to, and receives nothing from, EU funds.