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Isle Of Man In Brussels To Discuss EU Relationship

by Jason Gorringe, Lowtax.net, London
12 November, 2014

Isle of Man Chief Minister Allan Bell last week led a delegation to Brussels, as part of the island's efforts to increase its engagement with European Union member states and policy makers.

The Government said topics under discussion included the future of the United Kingdom's relationship with the European Union and the potential implication of this for the Isle of Man, which does not have direct representation in the EU.

The visit was organized by the Isle of Man Brussels Office. Bell held meetings with a number of Members of European Parliament (MEPs) including Kay Swinburne, an influential member of the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, and Syed Kamall, leader of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR). He also met with the UK's Permanent Representative to the European Union and representatives from Andorra, the Faroe Islands, and the Channel Islands.

Bell said: "The visit to Brussels was extremely productive in terms of developing a deeper understanding of the current position and influence of the UK in European circles. This is a matter of great significance for the Isle of Man. While we can and do engage with the EU directly, we do not ultimately have a seat at the table and rely on the UK to represent our interests."

"It is also important to remain in step with developments that will have an impact on our business community. The Isle of Man's future economic success will come, in large part, from our ability to attract foreign investment and to promote ourselves as a gateway into the European marketplace. Engaging with those who develop the laws and regulations enables us to create the right environment in which the island's economy can flourish."

"It is vital for our reputation and future prosperity that our position on key issues is communicated fairly and accurately. Developing our international relations must remain at the heart of everything we do as a Government and as a business center."

Bell also attended meetings in London with a number of influential politicians, including Edward Faulks, the Justice Minister responsible for the UK Government's relations with the Crown Dependencies.

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