HC Deb 21 October 1982 vol 29 cc172-3W
Mr. Foulkes

asked the Prime Minister what matters Her Majesty's Government consider to be totally the responsibility of the island Governments of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man; in what areas and to what extent the Home Secretary, in whatever capacity, exercises some degree of responsibility; and what formal arrangements there are for exercising that responsibility in each of foreign affairs, defence, fiscal policy, prison service, health service, employment, industry, fisheries, trade and education.

The Prime Minister:

The Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are internally self-governing dependencies of the Crown. The United Kingdom Government is directly responsible for their foreign relations and external defence and consults the islands about these matters as appropriate. All island legislation requires Royal Assent. The Crown acts through the Privy Council, and my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary is the Privy Councillor primarily responsible for matters relating to the islands. The Crown has ultimate responsibility for their good government, but otherwise the islands have virtually full control over their own internal affairs. The circumstances which might justify the exercise of the United Kingdom's paramount powers to intervene in the internal affairs of the islands in the interest of good government cannot readily be defined, but are likely to be very rare.