Chief Minister Howard Quayle says the Isle of Man’s strong external relationships will stand it in good stead whatever the outcome of the snap UK general election.
MPs today gave the go-ahead for an election on June 8.
Mr Quayle said: ’Prime Minister Theresa May’s move for a snap election has come out of the blue, but she clearly sees an opportunity to consolidate her position within parliament and to strengthen her hand in the Brexit negotiations.
’The Isle of Man is well prepared whatever the result on June 8. Through our programme of external engagement we have built relationships and made connections across the UK political parties so we are confident that we can work with the next UK Government.
’Meanwhile we will continue to ensure the island is as ready as it can be for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. We have worked hard to engage with key figures in the process and have firmly placed the Isle of Man on the radar of the UK’s considerations.’
Last month Mrs May wrote to Mr Quayle pledging to take the island’s interests into account during the Brexit negotiations.
The letter came as the Prime Minister triggered Article 50 to begin the formal process of the UK leaving the European Union.
Mrs May letter states: ’We remain committed to engaging with the Isle of Man as we prepare to exit the EU, to ensure that your interests are properly taken into account.’
She says it is right that the Crown Dependencies are offered the opportunity to contribute ’where it is relevant and appropriate to do so’.
A House of Lords select committee also called on the Westminster government to ensure the Crown Dependencies remain ’fully involved’ in negotiations.
In October 2015 then Chief Minister Allan Bell met the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn.
He then said: I had a useful introductory meeting with Mr Corbyn and was able to raise awareness of the Isle of Man and our positive contribution to the UK and wider international community. It is vital that we maintain our dialogue with the Labour Party, so that the Isle of Man can continue to deliver its message to the right people in the right places.’
But earlier this month Mr Corbyn urged the British government to consider ’direct rule’ over Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories such as the Isle of Man if they did not comply with UK tax law.
While the Isle of Man is a UK Crown Dependency, it is not in the UK so voters here do not have a vote.