The Isle of Man Government has today (Friday 2 March 2018) welcomed the draft text of the proposed Withdrawal Agreement, which indicates that the Island will retain its current relationship with the EU during what is known as the Implementation Period.
The implementation period is intended to allow for a smoother and more orderly withdrawal of the UK from the EU and essentially means that the UK will remain within the customs union, and be covered by EU law, although it will no longer be a full member.
The Isle of Man is not currently included within the UK’s full membership of the EU, but has a limited relationship with the EU through the UK. This relationship means that the Island is included within the EU customs union and means that goods can move freely between the Isle of Man and the EU. The Island’s customs and excise relationship with the UK means that it is important for the Island to remain as part of the EU customs union throughout the Implementation Period.
In addition, the UK on Wednesday (28 February) published its offer for those EU citizens, and their family members who arrive, are resident, and have registered during the implementation period: The main points are:
- eligibility after the accumulation of five years’ continuous and lawful residence to apply for indefinite leave to remain
- a temporary status in UK law that will enable them to stay after the implementation period has concluded. This temporary status means that they will be able to remain lawfully in the UK working, studying or being self-sufficient for the five years needed to obtain settlement
- an opportunity to secure this temporary status during the implementation period, with an additional three-month window for applications after the period, ensuring that there is no cliff-edge
- the ability for these EU citizens to be joined by family members after the implementation period, on a par with British citizens
- EU citizens frontier working in the UK during the implementation period will have the opportunity to obtain permission to continue this after the period ends.
In April 2017 the Council of Ministers agreed to seek to protect the position of EEA nationals who currently live and work within the Crown Dependencies.
The Government has agreed to the provision of a settlement scheme for EU nationals resident in the Isle of Man in line with the UK offer. This will provide a status to those nationals who wish to remain in the Isle of Man following the UK’s exit from the EU and provide certainty to Isle of Man employers of the position of their EU national employees.
Chief Minister Howard Quayle MHK said:
‘The two announcements show that our work with the UK on ensuring that our interests are represented during EU negotiations is working.
‘While we need to review the full text of the documents, the Isle of Man has been explicitly covered in the withdrawal treaty and the UK announcement on EU nationals reflects the position we took up last year.
‘We will continue to work hard, ensuring the Island has a voice and is heard during these complex and detailed negotiations. I am very pleased to reassure all those business that employ EU nationals that the Isle of Man Government will follow the same offer as the UK.’