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Chief Minister welcomes visit by House of Commons Justice Committee

Friday, 28 June 2013

The Isle of Man’s relationship with the United Kingdom Government is continuing to mature, according to the MP leading a House of Commons review on the matter.

Sir Alan Beith MP visited the Island this week to meet Chief Minister Allan Bell MHK, Members of Tynwald and representatives from the local judiciary. The House of Commons Justice Committee is revisiting how the Isle of Man’s constitutional relationship with the UK Government is managed by the UK Ministry of Justice.

Attention is focused on progress achieved since the publication of its 2010 Report on the Crown Dependencies - the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey - and the extent to which its original recommendations have been implemented over the past three years. The review centres on four main areas –

• Scrutiny of Crown Dependencies legislation by the Ministry of Justice

• Consultation with the Crown Dependencies by Government Departments on UK legislation in which they have an interest

• Issues relating to the good government of the Crown Dependencies

• International representation of the Crown Dependencies by the UK Government

The Isle of Man has submitted its response to the review, reaffirming its desire to continue to explore ways to represent itself on the international stage.

Sir Alan, who was accompanied by Committee members Andy McDonald MP and Gareth Johnson MP, said:

‘The Isle of Man’s relationship with the United Kingdom has reached a stage of maturity and mutual trust. We have been encouraged by the practical and positive progress that has been achieved since our 2010 report, and we are looking at what scope there is to further strengthen our partnership.’

Members of the House of Commons Justice Committee held a series of discussions with Ministers and senior officers from the Isle of Man Government during their visit on Wednesday and Thursday (26 and 27 June 2013).

The Chief Minister said:

‘It was a pleasure to welcome Sir Alan Beith and his colleagues to the Island to reflect on a number of key issues and to look forward into the future. The Isle of Man has a good working relationship with the UK Government and greatly values the support provided by the Ministry of Justice. We discussed how the Isle of Man has increasingly represented its own interests in world affairs in recent years. The Justice Committee report in 2010 acknowledged the Isle of Man as a democratic, self-governing community and recognised our essential independence from the UK. We are now looking at new ways to strengthen our political and economic relations with other countries, and this Justice Committee review allows us to re-evaluate the situation and focus on areas we feel have potential for further development.’

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