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A senior politician from the tax haven island of Jersey has told the Guardian that the increasing perception of the isle as a place for tax evasion may lead the isle to break with the UK.Sir Philip Bailhache, the island’s assistant chief ministerm, told Simon Bowers:
I feel that we get a raw deal. I feel it’s not fair … I think that the duty of Jersey politicians now is to try to explain what the island is doing and not to take things lying down.
“The island should be prepared to stand up for itself and should be ready to become independent if it were necessary in Jersey’s interest to do so.”
Sir Bailhache’s anger seems to come from the recent furore in the UK about the role the isle played in a prominent British comedian’s tax avoidance scheme that was later branded “morally wrong” by British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands and has a special relationship with the United Kingdom but is not a part of it. It has had a legal and regulatory framework that allows it to act as an international banking safe-haven for decades, but is facing new regulatory clampdowns on this status due to an world wide backlash against tax evasion.
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