Thursday, 13 August 2009

UK review of crown dependencies

UK review of crown dependencies

Union flag
Crown dependencies still need royal assent for new legislation

Questions have been raised in the UK whether crown dependencies, such as Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man, should retain their independence.

Lord William Wallace, a House of Lords peer, has said autonomy is no longer appropriate and the constitutional relationship needs to be reviewed.

As dependencies, the islands are not part of the UK or the European Union.

Although governed independently, they remain a "possession" of the British Crown and are not sovereign nations.

Crown dependencies need royal assent for new legislation.

They benefit a great deal by being seen to be within the British system
Lord William Wallace

Lord Wallace said the House of Commons Justice Committee would be looking at how the relationship between the UK and crown dependencies is managed in the autumn.

"I think there are problems with all of them," he told BBC News.

"They benefit a great deal by being seen to be within the British system of law.

"But in terms of the revenue flows, tax exemptions and the contributions they make to the United Kingdom, I think we definitely have to look at that again."

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