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Committee visit continues engagement over Brexit

Friday, 20 January 2017

Chief Minister Howard Quayle MHK has welcomed a further commitment from the United Kingdom to ‘consult, support and represent’ the Isle of Man during the Brexit process.

Members of the House of Commons Justice Select Committee travelled to the Island this week as part of their inquiry into the implications of Brexit for the Crown Dependencies.

Bob Neill MP, John Howell MP, David Hanson MP, Richard Arkless MP and Victoria Prentis MP took part in a series of discussions to learn more about the Isle of Man’s relationship with Europe and the opportunities and risks arising from the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

In addition to meeting the Chief Minister, Council of Ministers and Tynwald Members, the Select Committee spoke to representatives of the Isle of Man’s EU Advisory Group, Agriculture and Fisheries sectors and the Chamber of Commerce. Committee Members also toured local companies to hear how Brexit could affect business in the Isle of Man.

The Chief Minister said:

‘It is important to maintain strong relations with the UK to ensure the Isle of Man’s interests are known and recognised as Brexit negotiations continue. The two-day visit by the Select Committee, in the week that the Prime Minister provided clarity on the UK’s aspirations, continued our comprehensive programme of activity to promote a deeper understanding of the Island’s position.’

He added:

‘Our future relationship with the EU will depend on the outcome of the UK’s negotiations and it was reassuring to hear the Committee reinforce its commitment to listen to our concerns and to keep us informed of developments. The value of our engagement programme was further demonstrated on Wednesday when Mr Arkless MP asked a question in the House of Commons on our behalf and secured an assurance from the Minister of State that the Crown Dependencies will remain on the UK’s radar during the Brexit process.’

The information gathering trip to the Isle of Man was the first of the Select Committee’s visits to the Crown Dependencies in connection with its Brexit inquiry.

Bob Neill MP, Chair of the Justice Committee, said:

‘Making Brexit work is a critical challenge for the Isle of Man as for the UK, and the Island must be effectively consulted, adequately supported and properly represented when it comes to the process of leaving — a process that will, ultimately, be initiated and concluded by the UK. New arrangements for engagement between our governments, informed by previous Justice Committee reports, will be tested as parties strive to secure the best possible outcomes in a scenario without precedent. That is why we are honoured to be invited to the Crown Dependencies and eager to listen to the hopes and views that will be expressed. These experiences will be invaluable in our consideration of the Ministry of Justice's work.’

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