English through and through (for a day)
Jurisdictional independence…when it suits
Jersey has been at the table of European politics (albeit from outside of the EU membership) for decades. In that time, various directives and regulations have been served, to which Jersey has peered over and either prodded, picked at, chewed and spat out, or removed from its plate entirely.
As it is not part of the EU, no-one at the table has the means to threaten the Island that it will withhold dessert unless Jersey eats its greens. Whilst Europe’s elders ingest unpalatable directives emanating from Brussels (“whatever Brussels sprouts” you could say) Jersey continues to scoff those sweet and fluffy regulations – the ones that make its finance industry feel whiter than white, transparent and incredibly attractive to those with money. Of course, the ability to pick and choose in this way has placed Jersey in a strong position politically and economically. Local international relations experts would be correct in saying that our relationship with the rest of Europe provides the best of both worlds.
In recent times it can’t be ignored that outsiders have questioned the ‘have your cake and eat it’ approach. In the aftermath of the credit crunch Whitehall was out to take tax haven scalps. Also, in the not too distant past, Jersey fought hard to retain its reciprocal health agreement with the UK. But beneath this (surprisingly) there exists an undercurrent of feeling in Jersey that the Island should in fact sever all ties with the UK completely.
In November the UK Government accepted the Ministry of Justice’s recommendations on how the UK administers its relationship with Crown Dependencies (including Jersey). Although not suggesting complete autonomy, Jersey’s Chief Minister was quoted as saying that Jersey should be “self governing…[and] responsible for determining [its] own future”.
Despite this, when it comes to the wedding between William Windsor and Kate Middleton, the Jersey crest will be stuffed under the proverbial bed, dusty Union Jacks will be brought down from the loft and we’ll all be militant if we don’t get our ‘national’ holiday.