A ‘skinny latte’ but a good deal

The Chief Minister says the UK’s deal with the EU represents what the Isle of Man wanted when negotiations started.

Speaking to Tynwald HQ outlined what it means for our island and outlined the risks we faced at the start of the process.

The risks

These included that if there had been no deal, there was a chance that tariffs would be attached to Manx goods. Some such as seafood, were modest, while tariffs on meat  could have been so high that it would have threatened the profitability of all exports into Europe.

The EU could have refused to allow the Isle of Man to be part of any UK deal. This was a real possibility at the start. If this had happened, it could have led to trade friction between the UK and us. 

Our priorities

In response to these risks, the gov agreed strategic priorities for the island: To maintain and protect the free flow of goods between the Isle of Man and the UK; To maintain the free flow of people between the Isle of Man and the UK as part of the Common Travel Area; To maintain access to the EU for our exports, on the same terms as the UK; And to consider other opportunities on their merits.

The Chief Minister said: ‘These were the objectives we set ourselves. And I am pleased to say that we have met them. As a result of the agreement, there will be no trade friction between us and the UK. There is no threat to the Common Travel Area. And our goods will be treated in the same way as UK goods when trading with the EU.

Outcomes

As a result of the deal, Manx companies will be able to trade with the EU with no tariffs, no quotas and no additional friction in comparison with UK goods. Essentially a Manx lamb will be sold in the same way as a Welsh one.

Turning to fishing, HQ said: ‘It was clear that without fish for the EU, there would be no goods for us.’

The deal means that any EU vessel that wishes to fish in our waters in the future will have to prove a track record and will only be able to fish for the species that they previously did, in the section of Manx waters where they previously did.

‘We will have the right to licence these vessels and manage our waters in a way that puts sustainability of our waters – and our industry – at its heart. I know that some people would have wanted a future where no foreign vessels were able to fish in our waters. I understand that. But in any negotiation there has to be give and take.’

Taking questions from members, HQ said the deal was a ‘skinny latte’ as it was light on detail about financial services.

Why no vote?

Mr Quayle also outlined why the Tynwald, unlike other governments in the British Isles, is not having a vote on the deal, he said that ‘they have to do so to be able to provide their consent to the UK to be involved. We do not.’