UK Government due ‘catch-up’ with Crown Dependencies

WHETHER the UK Government is looking after the interests of Guernsey is set to come under the spotlight in parliament.

Justice Select Committee chairman Sir Bob Neill. (29952177)
Justice Select Committee chairman Sir Bob Neill. (29952177)

The House of Commons Justice Select Committee is holding a hearing to discuss the UK’s constitutional relationship with the Crown Dependencies tomorrow.

Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq, lead member for external relations and constitutional affairs for the States of Guernsey, will attend on behalf of the island. Ian Gorst, Jersey’s minister for external relations and financial services, and Isle of Man chief minister Howard Quayle will also attend.

‘It is a catch-up as much as anything’, said committee chairman Sir Bob Neill in an interview with the Guernsey Press.

‘We haven’t had a hearing with the Crown Dependencies for some time. Normally we do try to do it every year or every couple of years.’

Because the Crown Dependencies are self-governing, the Conservative MP said the meeting was ‘to make sure that they are satisfied the arrangements they have with the UK Government are looking after their interests and operating properly’.

He also explained his committee’s role was to scrutinise the role of the UK Ministry of Justice, which was charged with facilitating and overseeing the relationship between Crown Dependencies and the UK.

‘It’s really focused on is the MOJ doing it properly? And so it is a chance for the Crown Dependencies to have their say on that, so we have got the three, and then we put any issues that arise from that to ministers.’

Fishing, Brexit, and what cooperation has been like from the UK Government over the pandemic were other likely topics to come up at the hearing. Plans for an international shake-up of corporate tax were also likely to be discussed by the committee of MPs.

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