The Chief Minister, Senator Frank Walker said today that the historic agreement which he has signed with the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs, Lord Falconer, was a significant step in the development of Jersey’s international identity.
The agreement highlights the unique constitutional relationship between Jersey and the UK. It recognises that Jersey has a unique identity separate from and different to the UK. It also recognises that there will be times when those interests might differ.
Senator Walker said: ‘Whilst we will work together to resolve some differences, it is entirely justified for others to remain, to be recognised and respected.’
In a statement to States members, the Chief Minister went on: ‘The framework does not seek to change our unique constitutional relationship with the UK. We agree that it works well and that we are both committed to evolving methods of achieving our mutual interests. I think that this commitment to continued evolution is very healthy and very important.
I am also pleased that we have agreed that Jersey and the UK will work together to promote a wider understanding and development of Jersey’s International status and Identity. I know this will provide a very strong foundation on which to enhance our standing in the international community which will benefit all Islanders.
We have all been working hard for many years to counter the negative images that some people would like to paint. A clear statement by the UK endorsing Jersey as a responsible, stable and mature democracy sends a message to the International Community that our detractors will find hard to counter. I envisage that this will not only be good for Jersey’s business interests, but it should be something that every Islander can be proud of.
We are an Island nation that is proud of our contribution to the world and particularly of the help and assistance we give to poorer and less fortunate countries. We have also been working hard to embed International standards across our government and society. The recognition of these as part of our Identity is a clear endorsement to the outside world of the success of our efforts.
Furthermore it recognises that understanding the different identities of Jersey and the UK is key to the appropriate representation of Jersey on the international stage.
Lord Falconer commented:
“I am pleased to have had a role in assisting the development of Jersey ’s international identity. This is an important step forward for relations between the UK and Jersey governments as it clearly recognises the special relationship that exists with the Crown Dependencies.”
In January 2006 Lord Falconer and Senator Walker announced their intention to develop a framework which, for the first time, explicitly marked out Jersey’s distinct international identity. A framework for other Crown Dependencies, including the Isle of Man and Guernsey, is also being developed.
Notes to Editors:
- For further information please contact Chief Minister, Senator Frank Walker on 440401 or Mike Entwistle (International Relations) on 440405.
- The text for the framework is copied below:
Framework for developing the international identity of Jersey
Following the statement of intent agreed on 11 January 2006 , the Chief Minister of Jersey and the UK Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs have agreed the following principles. They establish a framework for the development of the international identity of Jersey . The framework is intended to clarify the constitutional relationship between the UK and Jersey , which works well and within which methods are evolving to help achieve the mutual interests of both the UK and Jersey .
1. The UK has no democratic accountability in and for Jersey which is governed by its own democratically elected assembly. In the context of the UK’s responsibility for Jersey’s international relations it is understood that -
· The UK will not act internationally on behalf of Jersey without prior consultation.
· The UK recognises that the interests of Jersey may differ from those of the UK, and the UK will seek to represent any differing interests when acting in an international capacity. This is particularly evident in respect of the relationship with the European Union where the UK interests can be expected to be those of an EU member state and the interests of Jersey can be expected to reflect the fact that the UK’s membership of the EU only extends to Jersey in certain circumstances as set out in Protocol 3 of the UK’s Treaty of Accession.
2. Jersey has an international identity which is different from that of the UK.
3. The UK recognises that Jersey is a long-standing, small democracy and supports the principle of Jersey further developing its international identity.
4. The UK has a role to play in assisting the development of Jersey’s international identity. The role is one of support not interference.
5. Jersey and the UK commit themselves to open, effective and meaningful dialogue with each other on any issue that may come to affect the constitutional relationship.
6. International identity is developed effectively through meeting international standards and obligations which are important components of Jersey’s international identity.
7. The UK will clearly identify its priorities for delivery of its international obligations and agreements so that these are understood, and can be taken into account, by Jersey in developing its own position.
8. The activities of the UK in the international arena need to have regard to Jersey’s international relations, policies and responsibilities.
9. The UK and Jersey will work together to resolve or clarify any differences which may arise between their respective interests.
10. Jersey and the UK will work jointly to promote the legitimate status of Jersey as a responsible, stable and mature democracy with its own broad policy interests and which is willing to engage positively with the international community across a wide range of issues.