Jersey Evening Post -- JERSEY should be able to elect an MP to the House of Commons and it is unfair that the Island is not represented in Westminster like other jurisdictions in the ‘British family’, the chair of a UK parliamentary group has said.
Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell said that the devolution of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland had strengthened the case for other British jurisdictions, such as the Crown Dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man and the British Overseas Territories, including Gibraltar and Bermuda, to have their own political representatives in London.
He argues that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all have semi-independent governments, but are still represented by MPs in Westminster, who have the right to vote in Parliament, and it is ‘unfair’ that other British jurisdictions do not.
‘The UK has specific constitutional and legal responsibilities for her Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies – we have shared values and will always respect the right to self-determination,’ said Mr Rosindell, who is the chairman of the Channel Islands’ All Party Parliamentary Group, which aims to develop better links between the UK and the islands.
‘But because of the responsibility Britain holds towards their security and good governance, I think some form of Westminster representation should be on the cards.
‘As a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, I worked with many excellent politicians, who really value the “British family”, and I think they would be a credit to their constituents,’ he added.
The MP said that he believed the increased powers of the Scottish Parliament, which was established in 1999, had made the country almost as independent as the Crown Dependencies.
‘There is certainly an unfair gap within the system. Devolution in the UK has arguably made Scotland almost as autonomous as our Crown Dependencies, yet the latter has no direct representation at all, even in the House of Lords,’ said Mr Rosindell, who represents Romford in Essex.
‘While the Foreign Office may have many other priorities, I think this would be a logical step which could build upon our strong relationships,’ he added.
Under the Danish system, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, which have their own governments, are represented by a handful of MPs in the parliament in Copenhagen.
Mr Rosindell believes that a similar system where Jersey had its own States Members, as well as a separate politician which it would send to London, who is elected from the Island as a constituency, would work.