Three-legged scape goat

Posted 27/11/2008 - 13:04 by steveejeb

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2008-11-27 (All day)

IoM Today reports: THE UK Government is orchestrating a campaign to make the Isle of Man the scapegoat for the Kaupthing banking crisis. That was the claim by Treasury Minister Allan Bell as UK prime minister Gordon Brown repeated his chancellor’s warning over the need to look again at the relationship between Britain and the Isle of Man.
Earlier this month, a high-ranking delegation from the Island returned reassured from a meeting in London after Lord Chancellor Jack Straw insisted there were no plans to change our constitutional relationship.

But in an interview on BBC’s Politics Show on Sunday, the UK Prime Minister set alarm bells ringing again.

Asked what could be done to help British people who could have lost all their life savings after putting their money into Icelandic owned banks in the Isle of Man, Gordon Brown replied: ‘I have had a number of people write to me about this and I’m obviously very concerned about this because the Isle of Man is not within our jurisdiction for regulation.

‘We have guaranteed the savings of people in, in British banks in a number of cases, even though they were owned by Icelandic banks themselves.

‘This is now a matter that the international authorities are dealing with. We are talking to the International Monetary Fund, who’ve had a deal with Iceland, about the repayment of debts that these banks have entered in to.’

He added: ‘This is something that we’ll have to pursue internationally and I think we may have to look again at the relationship between the Isle of Man and Britain in this respect.’

Treasury Minister Mr Bell said: ‘This is quite clear this is an orchestrated campaign by the UK.

‘Mr Brown’s language exactly mirrors that used by the Chancellor (Alistair Darling). It is quite clear this is an orchestrated response to the situation that they find themselves in over Kaupthing. They want a scapegoat. There is no doubt in my mind at all.’

A government spokesman said: ‘We are following up the Prime Minister’s brief comments on the Politics Show on Sunday about the relationship between the IoM and Britain, made in the context of bank depositor protection.

‘Earlier this month the UK Lord Chancellor Jack Straw stated there would be no review of our constitutional relationship.
‘As to regulatory matters, the Isle of Man has actively engaged in past reviews such as the Edwards Review, assessments by the IMF and most recently, the UK House of Commons Treasury Committee.

‘Similarly, the Isle of Man will welcome any review proposed by Gordon Brown as it would provide another opportunity to show that the Island is well-regulated and internationally responsible.’