The Isle of Man, situated in the Irish sea to the west of the U.K.,?
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.