Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

The European Dependent Territories of the British Crown: Accession, Brexit, and Beyond

Monday, 26 March 2018

The European Dependent Territories of the British Crown

A Senior researcher from Oxford Brookes University’s School of Law has formed a new research group to explore the impact Brexit will have upon European Dependent Territories (EDTs).

On 8 and 9 March Professor Peter Edge convened a group of leading scholars from a range of disciplines with the purpose of discussing this under-researched area. The workshop focussed on key issues across law, cultural studies, and economics.

Professor Peter Edge explained the background to the project: “Globally, the UK remains responsible for governance of a number of dependent territories, including the British Overseas Territories (BOTs). The only European BOT, Gibraltar, is a largely autonomous territory with a bespoke relationship with Europe. The larger Crown Dependencies of the Isle of Man, Jersey, and Guernsey are similarly autonomous, with their own distinctive relationship with Europe. As the UK prepares to leave the European Union the special position of these EDTs has moved up the policy agenda, being recognised as a significant challenge both by the UK Parliament and government, and the legislatures and governments of the EDTs themselves.”

The group also sought to identify ways in which the experience of the EDTs across the European project – from the formation of the Council of Europe in 1949 to Brexit and the post-Brexit landscape – could be captured by an interdisciplinary team, and the particular challenges of an interdisciplinary approach to this topic.

The workshop concluded with an agreement to continue working together on this neglected area. In the short term, the team agreed to formalise existing relationships with others working in the field through the creation of an Advisory Board for the project; to formalise partnerships with key partners in government and practice; and to work together to seek external funding for the project.

Current project contributors: Professor Peter Edge, Professor of Law at Oxford Brookes School of Law; Dr Catriona Mackie, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, Programme Leader for the BA (Hons) History & Heritage at University College Isle of Man, and Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Chester; Dr Robert Read, Senior Lecturer in International Economics at Lancaster University Management School; Professor Claire de Than, Director of Studies at the Institute of Law Jersey, a Jersey Law Commissioner, and a visiting Professor at City University London.