Channel Islands To Argue Hedge Fund Case In Brussels

Jul 2 2010 | 10:50am ET

The Channel Islands, which house two major hedge fund centers off the French coast in the English Channel, aren’t going to take it anymore.

Jersey and Guernsey, worried about the impact of proposed European Union alternative investments and banking regulations, and worried also about the British government’s ability to protect the islands from them, have decided to do so themselves, establishing a joint diplomatic mission to the EU in Brussels. The islands—which are not part of the United Kingdom and therefore not part of the EU—will do their own lobbying on matters affecting them. And, if successful, they could expand their diplomatic endeavor to Washington, D.C., and elsewhere, Jersey Chief Minister Terry Le Sueur told Reuters.

“Clearly what is uppermost in our minds is maybe background in [the U.K.’s] minds and they’ve got a thousand and one other things to worry about,” Le Sueur explained. “If..the U.K. government is generally cutting back on expenditure wherever it can, I think we’ve got to accept the fact that they will have less resource to direct—be it manpower or time—towards looking after the interests of a whole variety of dependent territories.”

The Channel Islands are the last British-controlled remnants of the Duchy of Normandy, the rest of which was conquered by the French in 1204. Technically, they are crown dependencies, like the Isle of Man, not represented in the British Parliament but relying on the U.K. for diplomatic and defense purposes.


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