Jersey: a Crown Dependency
Constitutionally, Jersey is classified as a Crown Dependency, since the Island's relationship with the United Kingdom (UK) stems from the sovereignty of the British Crown.
It is not part of the UK or the European Union, but is a self-governing jurisdiction with its own history and traditions, its own laws, and its own government and institutions.
More information on Jersey’s constitutional relationship can be found here: Fact sheet on the UK's relationship with the Crown Dependencies (publishing.service.gov.uk)
A clear commitment to nurturing links
Jersey’s Ministry for External Relations
The Government of Jersey’s Ministry of External Relations is responsible for managing the Island’s relationships with countries across the globe, and raises Jersey's positive international identity and external influence.
The Ministry operates three overseas representative offices in London, Caen and Brussels (which also represent Guernsey) to ensure that Jersey’s interests are promoted in the UK and Europe.
The European Relations team, based in the Jersey London Office, develops and enhances relations with European countries, via engagement with European embassies in London, bilaterally in European capitals, and supporting inward engagement with the Government of Jersey.
The team maintains positive bilateral relationships with Jersey’s closest neighbour, France, other priority European jurisdictions, as well as those nations which have the largest diaspora communities residing on Island, such as Portugal, Poland, and Romania.
The team works closely with the Channel Islands Brussels Office (CIBO) in engaging with EU Institutions and third countries to the EU, as well as the Bureau des Iles Anglo-Normandes (BIAN) in strengthening regional relationships with Normandy and Brittany.
Global Relationship building
The Global Relations team within the Ministry is responsible for supporting the development of Jersey’s international relationships outside the UK and Europe, via engagement with London-based Embassies and High Commissions, international visits, and the pursuit of agreements to further the Island’s bilateral relationships.
The team endeavours to increase Jersey’s positive visibility; improve access to decision-makers and expand the Island’s connectivity with global partners, promoting and protecting Jersey’s interests, profile and reputation internationally.
A responsible global actor
Jersey engages with number of global organisations which contribute to the development of international standards. These include:
Jersey’s international agreements
As Jersey develops its international identity, it is able to negotiate a range of agreements in its own right under entrustment from the UK, from Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs) and Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) to Asset Recovery Agreements and sector-specific Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs).
In 2021, Jersey also concluded its first ever Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) with the United Arab Emirates.
These agreements enable a more conducive environment for trade and investment, noting Jersey’s position as a centre of international finance.
Jersey also has regional cooperation agreements with France, including one with the region of Normandy and the department of La Manche, and another with the department of Ille et Vilaine, which will be extended to the Brittany region in 2023.
A global trading partner
Jersey has long been a centre of international trade. From the early days of the cod trade and the export of our unique and world-famous Jersey Royal new potatoes and Jersey cows around the globe, to today’s demand for Jersey milk in Hong Kong and Jersey oysters in China.
Jersey Dairy products from the Island’s famous cows have been sold in 30 countries over the last decade, including mainland China, South Korea and Japan.
Whelks caught around Jersey’s coast are also enjoyed in South Korea.
Jersey’s Trade Opportunities
Since Brexit, Jersey now has the opportunity to explore wider inclusion in new trade arrangements as part of the UK Government’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) programme.
Through extension of the UKs own membership, Jersey has been a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) since 2021. This ensures that Jersey companies have access to global rules on trade with the majority of countries worldwide. It also provides international businesses with security of access to Jersey's goods and services.
Jersey has always participated in free trade agreements for the purposes of goods that the UK or EU have signed. For agreements the UK has negotiated since becoming an independent trading nation, Jersey has secured participation for the goods elements and most importantly for future extension to services, agreements such as the UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement and the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement