The Isle of Man, situated in the Irish sea to the west of the U.K.,?
LV Castle ZOOM BACK TO promenade & beach
SV PAN Horsedrawn tram past
MV Irvin with reporter by harbour
MV Irvin speaking & overlay shots of holidaymakers on beach (SOF).
GV Fishing boats in harbour
CU Scallops unloaded from sack (2 shots)
CU Manx flag
CU Entrance to government office
CU Notice board
LV House of Keys
MV MacDonald with reporter
SCU MacDonald speaks (SOF).
GV Fishing boats in harbour
GV Small Castle ZOOM BACK TO ship in harbour
TRANSCRIPT: HUMPHREYS (SEQ. 4): "The Isle of Man is more picturesque than powerful. With a population of only fifty thousand, the Brussels Eurocrats are unlikely to see it as a major problem on the scale of Sterling. But in their own quiet way, the Manxmen are very good at making nuisances of themselves when they want to, and if things don't go right for them, they could turn out to be a considerable embarrassment to Britain's negotiators. Whitehall agrees they should have Associate Status, but its the precise terms which concerns people like Cliff Irvin, a Manx M.P., and member of the Island's Common Market Committee.
CLIFF IRVIN "The Isle of Man exists, of course, because it is uncommon, and I wouldn't have thought that an island which has a fairly prosperous existence because it is uncommon would want to join a club called the Common Market. The essential thing, surely, about the Isle of Man is that we have got to be different. If we are not different, why should anybody come here on holiday, to live, or to be in business here. We must retain the difference, and I believe that the policies of the Common Market, they are made for large industrial countries, whereas we people in the Isle of Man, we have got to create just he right conditions for a small island community, and they are not Common Market conditions."
ROY MACDONALD (SEQ. 12): "I find in our island today we have too many people, whose interests are not more but monetary. And going into the Common Market, they are afraid of the Common Market because of the monetary overtones that this would bring to the island. My worry is that going into the Common Market, the Manxman would lose his identity. And this is why I have opposed the Manx Citizenship Bill".
Initials SGM/1139 SGM 1205
NOTE TO EDITORS: This film is also accompanied by commentary from BBC reporter John Humphreys which may be used as an alternative to the commentary overleaf.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The Isle of Man, situated in the Irish sea to the west of the U.K., is to seek Associate Membership of the European Common Market at a time when the British Government itself is strongly pressing its application for full entry.
Associate membership of the E.E.C. does not involve the same degree of tax harmonization with Common Market countries as does full membership.
The Isle of Man, not a part of the U.K. but a crown possession with a considerable degree of self-government, jealously guards its right to fix its own rates and types of direct taxation. The tax laws of the Manx Parliament protect and attract capital which would face heavier rates of taxation in the U.K.
Manxmen fear that, should Britain take them into the Common Market on the same terms as herself, their prosperity and their identity would be seriously threatened.
This film explains the point of view of leaders of the 50,000-strong Isle of Man community.
SYNOPSIS: The Isle of Man Parliament has sent a team of negotiators to Brussels to discover just how they would send if Britain should enter the Common Market. For themselves, they want Associate Membership, and Whitehall has agreed to this. The Manxmen are saying that in order to survive, they must make their own terms to suit their fifty thousand strong island community. Manx MP Mr. Cliff Irvin explained why to BBC reporter John Humphreys.
The big men in Brussels are unlikely to treat the Isle of Man as a problem on the same scale as some they have had to deal with. But if things don't go the right way for the determined Manxmen, they could cause a lot of embarrassment to Britain. Even if Associate Membership were the answer to all their questions, it would not satisfy everybody. But for some in the House of Keys, said to be the oldest Parliament in the world, finance is not the overriding problem. Manxman Roy MacDonald is concerned over another issue.
The islanders are Jealous of their identity, and they resent any suggestion that they sponge off Britain. But they do have the best of both worlds, for they are almost a part of Britain, yet pay low income tax, no Capital Gains tax, no Corporation tax, and no death duties. To survive, they must maintain their economy as well as their attractive differences to the main-land. They fe??? the threat of the Common Market on both these fronts.