While the Isle of Man was never a member of the EU, so has not benefitted from the UK’s removal from some of its obligations, the gov believes we may well benefit from new trade deals.
Chief Minister Alf Cannan was asked by Speaker Juan Watterson what opportunities have been realised as a result of Brexit.
Unlike the UK, the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey were never members of the EU, instead we had a trade relationship through Protocol 3 Uk’s to the Act of Accession which also allowed free movement of people, but access to employment and benefits could be limited.
That relationship also meant that the island didn’t have to pay into the EU and only a small amount of EU law was extended to the island.
However, as a result of this relationship and when the UK made the glorious/disastrous (delete as applicable) decision to leave the EU this had minimal effect on us regarding these areas. In his answer, the Chief said the island ‘could not be said to have seen any significant benefit from the removal of these obligations’.
An area that the island could benefit from is the UK’s new trade deals which the island will be party to, with a mechanism for the Isle of Man to be covered for part of those agreements beyond just trade in goods.
Mr Cannan said: ‘This has already begun to bear fruit, and a number of new Free Trade Agreements contain a clause which allows for more provisions – other than just those relating to goods – to apply to the Island at a later stage. We could gain coverage for services and investment in some of the UK’s Free Trade Agreements, for example. The actual benefit to the island’s economy from our inclusion in these agreements remains to be seen, though, as it is extremely difficult to quantify at this stage.’
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In addition to the potential around trade agreements, the gov says another ‘informal benefit’ is an enhanced relationship with the UK Government.
The Chief said: ‘The Brexit process allowed our officials access to the UK Cabinet Office, and across Whitehall, to an extent not seen before, and we have maintained much of that access. For example, we now have an excellent working relationship with the Department of International Trade.’