Jersey has its own international identity

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The UK and Jersey have celebrated May Day by signing an agreement recognising Jersey's won separate international identity, distinct from that of the UK. The key paragraph appears to be this:

The UK recognises that the interests of Jersey may differ from those of the UK, and the UK will seek to represent any differing interests when acting in an international capacity. This is particularly evident in respect of the relationship with the European Union where the UK interests can be expected to be those of an EU member state and the interests of Jersey can be expected to reflect the fact that the UK's membership of the EU only extends to Jersey in certain circumstances as set out in Protocol 3 of the UK's Treaty of Accession.

The implication is clear. Jersey does not want the UK agreeing to anything in Europe which it then unilaterally imposes on Jersey, like the EU Code of Conduct on Business Taxation and the EU Savings Directive.

It's a quaint notion that Jersey thinks it was victimised in this respect. The rest of Europe think the UK bent over backwards to help Jersey and its other havens by refusing to extend the notion of unfair tax practices to individuals and keeping them solely to corporate tax, whilst doing all it could to support tax abuse through offshore trust and companies. The rest of Europe were right of course. But then they also spotted that the UK was a haven too. The UK Treasury did, predictably deny that obvious truth in Accountancy Age last week (sorry, no link).

There is, however, a more sinister side to this. I suspect that Jersey hopes to avoid the EU's 3rd Money Laundering Directive by doing this because that Directive will seriously undermine its trade in tax evasion. I can't find another obvious explanation for putting clear blue water between the UK and Jersey now. And it's deeply depressing to see the place sick further into the more as a result, especially when I suspect the EU will be the only body that will eventually bail Jersey out of the financial mess into which it is descending.