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Island prepared for ‘No Deal’ Brexit

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

With the ongoing debate surrounding the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, there is heightened interest in ‘No Deal’ preparations being made in the UK. 

Chief Minister Howard Quayle MHK said:

‘The interests of the Isle of Man have been strongly represented in discussions with the UK Government on a number of issues and in respect of both a Deal and No Deal outcome, and I am confident that we are as fully prepared as we can be at this stage. This does not mean that we are being complacent and recognise this is an unfolding and complex issue, and matters continue to develop.’

The Isle of Man Government has been working with the UK Government for many months to prepare for a potential scenario where the UK leaves the EU without a negotiated settlement in place.

While it is still hoped that agreement will be reached, this planning has been undertaken in parallel with preparations for a new UK/EU relationship, as it is the sensible and prudent course of action.

In the autumn, 106 Technical Notices were issued by the UK, which give an overview of the likely impact of a No Deal EU exit, and they provide information on the actions businesses and individuals may need to take after the UK leaves the EU.

These technical notices are available on the Isle of Man Government website at www.gov.im/brexit and provide not only links to the UK Government advice, but also provide a brief overview of each issue from  an Isle of Man perspective. In many areas, there is unlikely to be any direct impact on the Isle of Man.

The Isle of Man Government has also provided information for businesses, and letters have been sent directly to traders, freight, transport and cargo companies by Isle of Man Customs and Excise. In addition, the Department for Enterprise has been in dialogue with partners through a number of industry bodies, and has also prepared advice for businesses, which is to be issued later this week.

The focus of Government’s preparations has been to consider the security and continuity of supply of fuel, medicines and food to the Isle of Man.

In respect of the Island’s fuel supplies, for example, fuel oil and petrol come from outside the EU, are refined in the UK and shipped to the Isle of Man. Gas is supplied via a pipeline from the UK. There is no interruption expected to these supplies from a No Deal Brexit.

There have been regular discussions with the UK on contingency planning at which the Island’s particular needs have been put across, to ensure that these will continue to be met. The UK is addressing supply chain issues, and assurances have been given that the Isle of Man is factored into UK plans. These discussions are ongoing and work will continue apace in the event of No Deal.

The Isle of Man Government will continue to engage with the UK authorities, and will provide further information for businesses and the public. The meaningful vote in the House of Commons, scheduled for 14 January 2019, will give further indication into whether a Deal is likely to be agreed. If a No Deal outcome appears more likely, work on contingency planning will escalate.

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