The Jersey Passport Issue

The cover of a Jersey Passport says:

"European Union, British Islands, Bailiwick of Jersey".

An indigenous Jersey person's passport says:

"Holder is not entitled to benefit from European Community provisions relating to employment or establishment".

The Passport Issue

"Holder is not entitled to benefit from European Community provisions relating to employment or establishment."

This message can be found stamped inside the passports of people of ' pure ' Channel Island and Isle of Man (Manx) descent as well as those born in the Islands to European parents, in other words, people who have a parentage that is not of the United Kingdom.

Channel Islanders and Manxmen are not covered by the rights of the freedom of movement of workers and, therefore, have no automatic right to work or start a business within mainland Europe.

The stamp first appeared in Islanders' passports after the accession of the United Kingdom to the European Community. The U.K. government negotiated on behalf of the Islands and the result of these negotiations was Protocol 3. It is because of this protocol that the stamp was put in the Islanders' passports.

Protocol 3

Treaty of Accession of the United Kingdom to the European Community: Protocol 3 On the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man

Article 1

The Community rules on customs matters and quantitative restrictions, in particular those of the Act of Accession, shall apply to the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man under the same conditions as they apply to the United Kingdom. In particular customs duties and charges having equivalent effect between those territories and the Community as originally constituted and between those territories and the Member States shall be progressively reduced in accordance with the timetable laid down in Articles 32 and 36 of the Act of Accession. The Common Customs Tariff and the ECSC unified tariff shall be progressively reduced in accordance with the timetable laid down in Articles 39 and 59 of the Act of Accession, and account being taken of Articles 109,110 and 119 of that Act.

In respect of agricultural products and products processed therefrom which are the subject of a special trade regime, the levies and other import measures laid down in Community rules and applicable by the United Kingdom shall be applied in third countries.

Such provisions of Community rules, in particular those of the Act of Accession, as are necessary to allow free movement and observance of normal conditions of competition in trade in these products shall also be applicable.

The Council, acting by a qualified majority on a proposal from the commission, shall determine the conditions under which the provisions referred to in the proceeding subparagraphs shall be applicable to these territories.

Article 2

The rights enjoyed by Channel Islanders or Manxmen in the United Kingdom shall not be affected by the Act of Accession, However, such persons shall not benefit from Community provisions relating to the free movement of persons and services.

Article 3

The provisions of the Euratom Treaty applicable to persons or undertakings within the meaning of Article 196 of that Treaty shall apply to those persons or undertakings when they are established in the aforementioned territories.

Article 4

The authorities of these territories shall apply the same treatment to all natural and legal persons of the Community.

Article 5

If, during the application of the arrangements defined in this Protocol, difficulties appear on either side in relations between the Community and these territories, the Commission shall without delay propose to the Council such safeguard measures as it believes necessary, specifying their terms and conditions of application. The Council shall act by a qualified majority within one month.

Article 6

In this Protocol, Channel Islander or Manxman shall mean any citizen of the U.K. and Colonies who holds that citizenship by virtue of the fact that he, a parent or grandparent was born, adopted, naturalized or registered in the Island in question; but such a person shall not for this purpose be regarded as a Channel Islander or Manxman if he, a parent or grandparent was born, adopted, naturalized or registered in the U.K. Nor shall he be so regarded if he has at any time been ordinarily resident in the U.K. for five years. The administrative arrangements necessary to identify these persons will be notified to the Commission.


Letters regarding The Passport Issue: We want Protocol 3 re-negotiated

From 10 Downing Street, London SW1A 2AA 13.5.2002

" ... Mr Blair has asked that your letter be passed to the Lord Chancellor's Department who have responsibility for this subject so that they, too, are aware of your concerns and can send you any comments they may have direct. "

From Lord Chancellor's Department, Constitutional Policy Division, 50 Queen Anne's Gate, London SW1H 9AT 23.5.2002

" ... I can confirm that Jersey passports are issued under the authority of the Lieutenant Governor. In common with the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Isle of Man, the United Kingdom is responsible for the Island's international affairs and defence. Apart from that, there is little I can add ... save to confirm that Protocol 3 to the Act of Accession provides that Channel Islanders and Manxmen are not eligible to benefit from Community provisions relating to the free movement of persons ... "


From The Bailiff of Jersey, Sir Philip Bailhache, The Bailiff's Chambers, Royal Court House, Jersey JE1 1BA 27.5.2002

" ... It seems to me, with respect, that your letter reveals a misunderstanding of the constitutional position. No discrimination is involved in the special position of Channel Islanders under the Protocol ....... Jersey is for all purposes save one outside the E.U. ..... We are therefore inside the Community for the purpose of freedom of movement of goods ..... The abolition of the restriction on the freedom of movement of Channel Islanders as defined by the Protocol could only be achieved by the re-negotiation of Jersey's position vis-a-vis the E.U. My understanding is that Jersey's government has no such intention at the present time, but this is of course a matter for our elected representatives. I am sending a copy of this letter to Senator Horsfall. "


42 Clubley Estate,
St.John's Road,
St. Helier JE23LF

7th November 2002

Dear Senator Horsfall,

It is clear from the attached letters from the Bailiff of Jersey and the Lord Chancellor's Department that to re-negotiate Protocol 3 of the British Treaty of Accession to the European Union in order to remove the clause excluding Channel Islanders settling or working in the E.U., action would have to be initiated by our elected representatives.

This issue is now particularly relevant in view of the British Overseas Territories Act, which came into force on 21st May this year and grants the rights of full citizenship to all inhabitants of Britain's overseas territories and allows them to live, train and work in Britain or anywhere else in the European Union. And this without giving up immigration restrictions to their various territories.

The exclusion of those with exclusively Channel Island ancestry hits most of those who courageously chose to stay in Jersey in 1940 even though they knew the Island was to be occupied by Nazi dominated German forces thus ensuring a continued British presence here. Those who evacuated and who did not have U.K. patrial status would now not be subject to the exclusion, having lived in the U.K. five years.

You are probably aware that exclusion of anyone without U.K. patrial status including British citizens of wholly or part French, Irish, Portuguese or other E.U. nationality is discriminatory ethnically and goes against the whole idea of equality of European nations enshrined in all E.U. legislation. We intend to continue to pursue this matter not only in the European Court of Human Rights at Strasbourg, which is not an E.U. institution, but also intend to seek redress at the Court of Justice of the European Community itself at Luxembourg.

However, we feel that the easiest way would be for our elected representatives to follow the advice of the Bailiff and initiate proceedings through the U.K. government in order to amend Protocol 3, bearing in mind the many concessions Jersey has made to the E.U. and the importance of this exclusion in the lives of a seriously wronged minority on the Island, particularly the young who may be unable to take up any immediate employment offers in the E.U. outside the U.K. It is in the light of what we have pointed out that we formally ask you to initiate such proceedings.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Jean Andersson
(Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions for the Benefit of the People)


As of May 22, 2006 no reply from Senator Horsfall

" The problem is not public apathy about politics, it's political apathy about the people and the apathy is all at the top. " Tony Benn

Passport Update 2nd April 2003

In The States sitting on Wednesday 2nd April 2003 as reported in the Jersey Evening Post under the heading: " Islanders ' are able to work in EU despite lack of automatic right ' ", Senator Frank Walker said that although Jersey-born passport- holders did not have an automatic right to gain employment in the EU, in practice they were able to work.

Deputy Roy Le Herissier questioned whether P & R would be prepared to review the issue of Jersey-born passport- holders. He pointed out that these passport- holders, under Protocol 3 of the Treaty of Accession of the UK to the EU, were not entitled to live or work in the EU.

Senator Walker warned: " To revisit the issue of free movement of people, in order for Jersey-born passport-holders to be entitled automatically to live and work in the EU, would require revisiting the entire Treaty. The EU is unlikely to be willing to examine the applicability of the Treaty on a piecemeal basis. Even if it were, any change in the arrangements for the Island could involve revisiting the whole relationship between the Island and the EU. "

Clearly the Island authorities intend doing nothing about this. Whatever it takes we intend to continue campaigning until Protocol 3 is renegotiated. We want nothing less than a clear, unambiguous full passport like everyone else.

For further information please read Protocol 3.

Jerry Gosselin has a very interesting site which among other items outlines his experiences of the Jersey Passport Issue


JEP Article

Click Here