A landmark declaration recognising that the Isle of Man has its own identity and interests in the international arena is announced today (Tuesday May 1, 2007).

The framework of principles agreed by the governments of the United Kingdom and the Isle of Man reinforces the Island’s separate status within the context of its constitutional relationship with the UK.

Chief Minister of the Isle of Man, Tony Brown MHK, who signed the document on behalf of the Manx Government, said: ‘This is a significant step forward in the Isle of Man’s evolution as a mature and responsible democracy. It confirms in writing that the Island has its own distinct and legitimate interests on the world stage, which may differ from those of the United Kingdom.

‘The understanding that has been reached should help the Isle of Man to flourish as a reputable centre for international business. There is now greater clarity about the Island’s position, which will be useful in dealing with governments, organisations and businesses around the globe.’

The document, setting out a framework of principles for the development of the international identity of the Isle of Man, was signed on behalf of the UK by the Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer. Agreement to progress such a framework was announced in January 2006 following a meeting with the Lord Chancellor.

The United Kingdom has ultimate responsibility for the Isle of Man internationally and historically all international matters affecting the Island were handled by the UK. In recent years – with the rise of the Isle of Man as an international business centre and its increasing involvement with global issues – it has started to deal directly with other governments and organisations, and there has been growing awareness that it has distinct interests internationally.