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IoM Urges Protection For Island's EU Workers

by Jason Gorringe, Lowtax.net, London
18 July, 2016

The Isle of Man's Chief Minister, Allan Bell, said that workers from European Union countries make a valuable contribution to the island's economy and should be allowed to continue living and working on the island if the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.

He said that: "EU migrants to the island tend to be young and economically active, making a net contribution to our economy that is both welcome and significant."

Under Protocol 3 of the UK's Treaty of Accession to the European Community, EU nationals are currently able to move to the Isle of Man and take up employment, subject to the work permit system, in the same way as UK citizens. The 2011 census showed that 4.3 percent of Isle of Man residents are from EU countries other than the UK (3,609 residents).

Protocol 3 will end if the UK leaves Europe and the position of EU nationals in the Isle of Man is expected to depend on what is agreed in relation to EU nationals living in the UK. As a Crown Dependency, the Isle of Man is part of the UK immigration system.

Bell said the "grandfathering" of rights for EU nationals was an issue across the Crown Dependencies and had been one of the matters highlighted in a joint letter written by the chief ministers of Guernsey, Jersey, and the Isle of Man to the UK's Prime Minister following the "Brexit" referendum.

Bell said: "If we are to sustain public services and pensions in the future it is essential that we continue to grow the economy and increase the size of the working population, so it is important that the position of EU workers already living and working here is confirmed as soon as possible."

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