Jersey's relationship with the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom is Jersey's closest international partner. Deep social, cultural, economic, and constitutional links have been built and maintained between the two jurisdictions over hundreds of years.
Constitutionally, Jersey is classified as a Crown Dependency, since the Island's relationship stems from the sovereignty of the British Crown, as opposed to the UK Parliament or HM Government. In practice, this gives the Island constitutional rights of self government and judicial independence.
Jersey is not part of the UK and is not represented in the UK Parliament. By charter and convention, the UK Parliament does not legislate for the Island without consent. However, the UK Government, on behalf of the Crown, does retain formal responsibility for the Island's defence and, to some extent, its foreign affairs.
In May 2007, Jersey's Chief Minister signed the International Identity Framework Document with the UK Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs. The framework is intended to clarify the constitutional relationship between the UK and Jersey. The framework recognises that Jersey has an international identity which is distinct from that of the UK and outlines the UK's support for the development of Jersey's international 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 meant the Island was part of the EU Customs Union and within the Single Market for the purposes of trade in goods. In all other respects, Jersey was a 'third country.'
Since the UK left the EU, Jersey's formal relationship with the EU under Protocol 3 also fell away. Jersey's new relationship with the EU is now governed by the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), Jersey's participation in the agreement is in relation to trade in goods and access to fisheries resources in the territorial waters.
Post-Brexit, Jersey is firmly committed to fully implementing its obligations under the TCA and to strengthening and maintaining its long-standing relationships, politically, economically and culturally, with our closest French neighbours and partners across Europe.
The Channel Islands Brussels Office (CIBO) ensures that Jersey's interests are promoted in Brussels and acts as the central engagement point with the EU institutions.
Channel Islands Brussels Office website
The Bureau des Îles Anglo-Normandes promotes the interests of the Channel Islands in the French regions.
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
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 2021 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