The IOM Gov’s Head of Communications sent me the following this morning:
“Chief Minister Allan Bell MHK has made it clear in Tynwald today that the Isle of Man Government has no plans or policy to change the Island’s constitutional status as a British Crown Dependency. Answering a question from Rushen MHK Laurence Skelly, Mr Bell said: ‘Now is not the time to raise a major question mark over the Island’s future that might weaken business confidence in our political and economic stability.’
Full question and answer as follows:
FOR ORAL ANSWER 1
The Hon Member for Rushen (Mr Skelly) to ask the Chief Minister –
If he will make a statement on the Deputy Chief Minister of Jersey’s call to be ready for independence; and what if any action the Government has already taken to identify the potential benefits of independence?
I DO NOT FEEL IT APPROPRIATE TO MAKE A STATEMENT ABOUT INDEPENDENCE FOR JERSEY. THIS IS A MATTER FOR THE GOVERNMENT AND PEOPLE OF JERSEY TO DETERMINE.
IN RESPECT OF THE ISLE OF MAN, I THINK IT WOULD BE HELPFUL IF I WERE TO MAKE IT CLEAR THAT THE ISLE OF MAN GOVERNMENT HAS NO PLANS OR POLICY TO CHANGE THE ISLAND’S CONSTITUTIONAL STATUS AS A BRITISH CROWN DEPENDENCY.
THIS IS IN LINE WITH THE POLICY RECOMMENDED IN THE REPORT OF THE COUNCIL OF MINISTER ON THE IMPLICATIONS OF INDEPENDENCE, WHICH WAS APPROVED BY TYNWALD IN NOVEMBER 2000, THAT THE ISLE OF MAN SHOULD CONTINUE AS A CROWN DEPENDENCY BUT PURSUE THE CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE ISLAND.
THIS REPORT WAS VERY COMPREHENSIVE AND IDENTIFIED THAT WHILST THERE MAY BE SOME POTENTIAL, ALBEIT INTANGIBLE ADVANTAGES OF INDEPENDENCE, THESE COULD BE HEAVILY OUTWEIGHED BY THE POTENTIAL DISADVANTAGES, WHICH I BELIEVE REMAIN AT THIS POINT.
THE GOVERNMENT OF THE ISLE OF MAN WILL CONTINUE TO MAINTAIN AWARENESS OF CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH MAY MERIT REVISITING, IN DETAIL, SCOPE FOR INDEPENDENCE ON THE PART OF THE ISLAND. I WOULD ASK THE HONOURABLE MEMBER, AND TYNWALD AS A WHOLE, TO RECOGNISE THAT ANALYSING THE CASE FOR INDEPENDENCE IS A MATTER THAT WOULD NEED TO BE ADDRESSED WITH THE UTMOST CARE AND THOROUGHNESS, AND THAT IN THESE TIMES OF ECONOMIC TURBULENCE AND UNCERTAINTY, PERHAPS NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO RAISE A MAJOR QUESTION MARK OVER THE ISLAND’S FUTURE THAT MIGHT WEAKEN BUSINESS CONFIDENCE IN OUR POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC STABILITY.
Their capitals not mine!