Following the UK general election in May and the formation of a coalition Government, Chief Minister Tony Brown, MHK, has restated the Isle of Man's commitment to positively engaging with key politicians in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Brown said the Isle of Man Government was monitoring the emerging political landscape in the UK with a view to refocusing and refreshing its programme of communication with Westminster.
Tony Brown, said, "UK politics is clearly moving into a new era, which means a different dynamic of power and influence. It is vital that we understand this changed and complex environment so that the Isle of Man can communicate its message to the right people in the right places at the right time.
"The Island has a strong message to deliver – that we are an enterprising, open and responsible country that plays by international rules and supports the British economy. Our experience shows that when people learn the truth about the Isle of Man they are less inclined to be critical.
"The Island has strong and historic ties with the United Kingdom – economic, social and cultural – but we should expect no special favours from any UK Government, which has problems of its own to resolve.
"What we will continue to promote, however, is understanding and fair treatment of the Isle of Man as a legitimate separate entity, a good neighbour and a responsible global citizen."
In recent years the Isle of Man Government has been developing its international relations programme, with the UK and further afield. In the last year, Isle of Man Ministers have attended the party political annual conferences of all three main UK parties for the first time.
The Island's Government has been building strong cross-party relations in Westminster and is taking a leading role in the British-Isle of Man All-Party Parliamentary Group to promote the Island's interests. A key strand of this programme has been identifying common ground that exists for dialogue on mutual economic growth and the Isle of Man's continued contribution to the City of London.
Brown continued, "Ultimately, the impact of the UK election is of far lesser significance than the impact of the new era we have been in for some time now. The requirement for proper transparency, for tax information exchange, for international jurisdictional co-operation is absolutely as relevant under the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats as any other party."
The last UK Government also undertook a review of British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies when Michael Foot conducted his independent study, in which he concluded with positive findings on the Isle of Man. Chief Minister Tony Brown MHK welcomed this as a "positive, constructive, and independent assessment of the Isle of Man's status as a well-regulated and co-operative jurisdiction with a sound and diverse economy able to cope with and adjust to global economic crises".
The Isle of Man Government is working to maintain these standards and continue to build its relationship with key political figures in the UK.
At the Conservative Party's spring forum earlier this year the Chief Minister and Minister for Economic Development, Allan Bell, MHK, met with the then Conservative Party Leader, David Cameron and senior Conservatives. As well as the meetings with Mr Cameron and the now Secretary of State for Justice, Kenneth Clarke, the Isle of Man delegation held informal discussions with Dominic Grieve the former shadow Justice Secretary and the former Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude.
Commenting on the meetings the Chief Minister said: "This was an excellent opportunity to brief some of the UK's leading politicians on the Isle of Man's constitutional position as a Crown Dependency and how the Island's role as an International Business Centre supports the British economy."
Following the formation of the new coalition Government the Chief Minister welcomed the appointment of the Rt Hon Lord McNally as Minister of State for Justice. As part of his new role at the Ministry of Justice, the Liberal Democrat peer will be responsible for the UK Government's relationship with the Isle of Man and the other Crown Dependencies.
The Chief Minister used the opportunity to reinforce the Isle of Man's desire to improve its international profile through channels such as representation in global forums, high level secondments and access to policy briefings.
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