Jersey and Guernsey are not members of the European Union. However, with the agreement of both Bailiwicks, the Islands are the subject of Protocol No 3 attached to the United Kingdom's Treaty of Accession to the European Community. This protocol excludes the Islands from most of the effects of the Treaty of Rome apart from those concerning trade in goods. The trade effects of the Protocol are:
- the free movement of industrial and certain agricultural goods between the Islands and the UK based on long-standing charter rights;
- the free movement of industrial and agricultural goods between the Islands and EEA countries, with the exception of some sensitive products;
- the free movement of industrial and agricultural goods between the Islands and the member countries of the EU;
- the Islands apply the external common customs tariff of the EU.
The Islands' constitutional position is secured by Protocol No 3 and cannot be changed unless the Protocol is changed. To change the Protocol would require the approval of all member countries of the EU which includes the UK. Whilst the UK is traditionally responsible for the international relationships of the Islands, it is the constitutional convention that no decisions are taken without prior consultation between the UK and the States of Jersey and of Guernsey.
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