200 people from the Island’s business community have been given an update on the Isle of Man’s preparations for Brexit.
Chief Minister Howard Quayle addressed the Chamber of Commerce’s Brexit and Beyond event last week.
He was accompanied by Della Fletcher, Executive Director, Crown and External Relations, and David Corlett, Head of the Isle of Man Government’s Brexit team.
The Chief Minister gave a detailed account of Isle of Man Government’s preparations for every possible outcome.
He told attendees: “I want to leave you with a few observations.
“The Isle of Man is not leaving the European Union, we were never members.
“We are leaving the EU Customs Union and we will no longer be covered by the EU’s external trade policy, so we have protected and reinforced our relationship with the United Kingdom.
“No matter what your beliefs, either pro or anti Brexit, it is certain that in the absence of an agreement on withdrawal there will be significant economic turbulence in the UK which, although we may be insulated from some of the effects, will still have an impact on us.
“Our economy relies predominantly on services and our main markets are the UK and the rest of the world.
“So we have ensure that access to the UK can continue and that our position in relation to the World Trade Organisation is clear and that we are considered to be part of the UK’s customs territory for the purposes of international trade.
“This will ensure that we might align ourselves with the UK as it negotiates new trading relationships.
“Politically and socially the divisions which we are seeing tearing through the UK can only ultimately be damaging, so we have maintained a neutral, open, and pragmatic approach.
“The UK’s withdrawal from the EU is for them to determine, it is not our call – but we have to deal with the consequences, and that is what we are doing. We began to think seriously about what Brexit could mean for us even before the referendum took place.
“We need to remain focused on the issues, not the politics in this instance, and continue to work diligently as we have been doing.
“That means keeping our eyes firmly on March 29 and the days and weeks after that, ensuring that we deal with the immediate impacts and then adjust to what will soon become the new normal.”