Bell gets UK commitment to strengthen relations

Lord McNally

Lord McNally

Chief Minister Allan Bell has welcomed a commitment from the UK Government to further strengthen its working relationship with the island.

Mr Bell held positive discussions with Lord McNally, Minister of State for Justice, during the British-Irish Council in Jersey.

Since then, Lord McNally has written to the Chief Minister to reaffirm his support towards the island’s partnership with the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) – which manages the UK Government’s constitutional relationship with the Crown Dependencies – and other key UK departments.

In the letter, Lord McNally said: ‘I also recognise that engaging internationally is an area which is increasingly important to the Isle of Man.

‘I understand that there may be occasions where you wish your voice to be heard separately on issues where you feel strongly that interests differ significantly from those of the United Kingdom.’

He added: ‘The relationship between the UK and the Isle of Man is a positive and mutually beneficial one and it is vital that we continue to be good neighbours to one another.

‘My department will continue to work with you to find further ways to improve our processes and help ensure that our relationship is managed as effectively as possible.’

The MoJ has worked on enhancing a number of areas in line with the recommendations of a Justice Select Committee Report in 2010.

Mr Bell said the vast majority of Manx legislation is now processed for royal assent within 20 working days.

And it has also helped to promote greater awareness of the island across Whitehall and to facilitate discussions with other UK departments on a range of important issues.

‘We are looking to explore further ways to represent ourselves on the international stage and the MoJ is providing valuable assistance in this area.’

Mr Bell added: ‘Lord McNally knows the Isle of Man very well and I look forward to working with him in the months and years ahead.’




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