Jersey's relationship with the United Kingdom
Jersey's status as a Crown dependency gives the Island constitutional rights of self-government and judicial independence. Jersey has a considerable measure of autonomy within its constitutional relationship with the United Kingdom (UK) although it is not independent of the UK.
In practice, responsibility for the Island's international representation rests largely with the UK government. However, the UK always consults Jersey on its obligations in international law and other international agreements. Jersey is included in many of the important international conventions to which the UK is a party, including human rights legislation and international sanctions.
In May 2007 the Chief Minister signed the International Identity Framework Document with the UK Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs. This framework is intended to clarify the constitutional relationship between the UK and Jersey, and to assist in the development of Jersey's international status and identity.
Framework for developing the international identity of Jersey
Jersey's relationship with the European Union
Prior to the UK’s departure from the European Union (EU), Jersey’s relationship with the EU was set out in Protocol 3 of the UK's 1972 Accession Treaty. In practice, this mean the Island was treated as part of the European Union for the purposes of free trade in goods, but otherwise was not a part of the EU.
Following the UK referendum on EU membership, one of our key objectives was to protect, as far as possible, the Island’s key interests – including our relationship with our European partners.
Jersey’s relationship is now enshrined in our membership of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), which was reached prior to the end of the Transition Period on 31 December 2020. This means that Jersey goods bound for the EU are treated as they would if they come from the UK.
In addition to the practical implications of the UK’s exit, Jersey has maintained long-standing relationships – politically, economically and culturally – with our closest French neighbours and partners across the EU.
The Channel Islands Brussels Office (CIBO) makes sure that Jersey’s interests are promoted in Europe, and acts as the central engagement point with Brussels and within other multilateral fora.
Channel Islands Brussels Office website
The Bureau des Îles Anglo-Normandes promotes the interests of the Channel Islands in France.
Located in Caen, its mission is to promote and help political, economic, cultural, educational and operational links with the French government and its institutions at departmental, regional and national levels.
Bureau des iles Anglo-Normandes website
Customs Arrangement with the United Kingdom
On 26 November 2018 the Minister for External Relations signed the Jersey-UK Customs Arrangement, which establishes a customs union between Jersey and the United Kingdom.
The two essential elements of establishing a customs union are that the parties agree:
- not to impose import tariffs for goods passing between themselves
- to impose a common external tariff on goods from places outside the customs union
Jersey and the UK are currently in a customs union with the EU and apply the EU’s common external tariff, but that will change on leaving the EU Customs Union on 29 March 2019.
The following was also agreed between the parties:
- tariff free movement of all types of good between Jersey and the UK, with no quantitative restrictions on imports
- the ability to impose prohibitions or restrictions at border for specific reasons
- participation in a new Joint UK CD Customs Committee
- retention of Jersey’s autonomy in fiscal matters
- autonomy in maintaining local customs IT systems
Jersey UK Customs Arrangement
The Jersey-UK Customs Agreement came into effect on 1 January 2021, following the end of the Transition Period and the UK's formal departure from the EU.
MoU with the UK on the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement
On 1st March Jersey signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UK agreeing dispute resolution mechanisms between the UK and Jersey in respect of the UK-EU Trade & Cooperation Agreement (TCA).
The objective of the MoU is to provide a governance backdrop to Jersey's participation in the TCA which came into effect on 1 January 2021.
MoU with the UK on the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.pdf