Monday, 27 April 2009

Overseas and Overlooked

If you think that being on the Tax Haven “White List” will be Jersey’s salvation then prepare for the constitutional tsunami of change yet to hit this island.

In London on 23rd April the governmental future of the British Overseas Territories and the Channel Islands and IOM was discussed by the Foreign Affairs Select Committee but news of this won’t be found in the JEP or on the local goggle box.

For a useful introduction to the debate click on to the “Corruption-free Anguilla” blog site on this page and wonder why people 3000 miles away are better informed than we are!

During the debate Andrew Rosindell MP ( a junior shadow minister) said;

“Why are British Overseas Territories - territories of HM the Queen – under the Foreign Office? They are neither Foreign nor Commonwealth. They are not members of the Commonwealth. They are not members of the Commonwealth in their own right. They are British Overseas territories in the Commonwealth only via Britain so they should not really be under the FO at all. They should all be placed in the same Department whatever that Department is, as the British Crown Dependencies. Jersey, Guernsey and the IOM and the British Overseas Territories should all be placed together under one Department, but not the Foreign Office…….”

Andrew Rosindell has had discussions with Jersey’s leaders and will be prominent in any future Tory Government after next year’s election. But even if Labour survive, MPs like Jeremy Corbyn and Andrew Mackinlay expressed similarly far reaching views during the debate and it is obvious that the Caribbean tax havens under the British Flag ( many of them on the “Grey List” and to be restricted in their trading with Jersey) are concerned and worried about their future welfare, to put it mildly.

In fact it is not just the British territories that are under the constitutional cosh because the status of virtually all the little “off shore” territories like the Dutch Antilles and the French islands are also under consideration and the removal of the corrupt Turks and Caicos government, by London, has sent shock waves around the region.

The discussion of when it is appropriate for London to “interfere” is a central theme in the debate.

So, If you have a brain and are not totally obsessed with the tittle - tattle of Jersey gossip – then turn on to “Corruption free Anguilla” and click to read the shortened account of the London debate. There is much much more about the Channel Islands, the IOM and Gibraltar to study here and our relationships with the rest of the world will ultimately prove to be much more important than which dumbo serves as our next Health Department Minister.

Submitted by Thomas Wellard.

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