Sunday, 26 June 2016

We can have our say , sort of.

There's a lot more to the arguments both ways over this if we're being serious.  But with so many constitutional issues  around we really ought to give some thought to this Facebook posting.

"There is an impish thought that came to me while I was directing traffic for the Sunset Concert yesterday. It just wont go away, so I'm going to put it on paper and see if that helps.

Quite a few people in Jersey were pretty peeved that we didn't have a vote in the recent referendum. Logical of course as we have never been in the EC/EU we cannot have a referendum to leave . The only way we could have a vote would be to have a referendum to join the EU ! What constitutional merriment that would be for the UK trying to leave. 

The main obstacle to us being in would be open borders. We are already densely populated. But the States population policy is such a dire failure even on their own targets would it actually make any difference? Worried about VAT, why? - we already have it effectively called GST. If Luxembourg and Gibraltar can survive in we surely could too.

Membership would get rid of the discriminatory passport stamp for Islanders, would allow farmers to claim agriculture subsidies. We might even be able to get help for projects like rebuilding sea defences and putting in solar and tidal power. Our finance and local banks would keep passporting rights so they could trade around Europe when UK entities might not when they leave.

In effect we flip the whole relationship to retain a degree of distinctiveness and differentiation from the UK. Jersey and the other Crown dependencies have always thrived on being the same but different.

So there it is. The proposition - Jersey should seek formal membership of the European Union."


  1. No. You, along with Ralph Vibert and everyone else, have it wrong. We are not "non-members but included", we are "members but largely excluded".

    The EU, by its own constitution, is an association of sovereign states. Jersey is not a sovereign state, and its membership depends entirely on that of the sovereign state of which it is a dependent - namely, the UK. The only way that Jersey could become a member would be to declare its independence from the UK, an idea so wildly impractical it makes Nigel "the Nazi" Farage look like a model of sober rectitude.

    GST and VAT are by no means the same thing. VAT is applied to the difference between the seller-purchased price and the resale price - so purchase for use and purchase for resale are treated differently. Sales tax is charged at sale regardless. The change in accounting would be substantial and costly. But as it's never going to happen, the point is moot.

    1. I have to disagreeon the memebership issue. Or arrangement is described as a special agreement by the EU. I canto find it right now, but I knwo ther is an EU document that lists who is a member or not, including the OTC , and special agreements like ours. From recollection it list us a not members. We could become full members (not a recognised term, but we need expedient short hand here) at the moment because we are treated as part of the UK constitutionally - the same scenario as Gibraltar at the moment. However like Gibraltar that would probably fall if UK exits. There are intersting moves happening by Gib, Scotland jointly to try to retain membership after Brexit too. That apart then yes we could only join afer Brexit if we were a State. I too think Jersey Independence is madness, but if it were to happen I would want to see a proper discussion of the possibility of joining EU.

      Mechanicaly yes GST and VAT are different, but politically to the end user it amounts to much the same thing - you pay more for buying stuff. That was onoe of the big disadvantages to joining when the UK went in, it seems a far smaller hurdle politically now.

  2. Gibraltar might have a plan. A remaining UK in Europe block with Scotland and possibly Northern Ireland.