Shetland island breaks away from UK, EU
One of the advantages of living in the EU is that we can import products from anywhere within the union without having to pay additional taxes at the point of import. A few years ago I imported records and CD from the island of Jersey on a regular basis. One morning the postman rang the doorbell and when I opened the door he told me that the had a large package for me but he could not give it to me until I paid customs charges (VAT at 21% and other charges). I decide to pay and then recover the money from Customs. when I contacted Customs they informed me that Jersey was not part of the EU and as I believed that Jersey was part of the UK I thought that this was this was the most silly claim that I every heard and that the official most have been smoking some strange substance.
Here is the information that was provided to me:
The Bailiwick of Jersey is a British Crown dependency off the coast of France. As well as the island of Jersey itself, the bailiwick includes the nearly uninhabited islands of the Minquiers, Écréhous, the Pierres de Lecq and other rocks and reefs. Together with the bailiwick of Guernsey it forms the grouping known as the Channel Islands. Jersey is part of neither the UK nor the European Union; rather, like the Isle of Man, it is a separate possession of the Crown. Jersey belongs to the Common Travel Area.
The Isle of Man is not a part of the European Union, but because of Protocol 3 of the Treaty of Accession in 1972, there does exist the free movement of goods between the two entities.
While politicians wrestle with Ireland's future in the EU, the owner of one Shetland island is certain: he wants out.
Stuart Hill, sole owner and resident of a 2.5 acre island off Scotland, declared his independence from the UK this weekend, saying he wanted the territory to be a crown dependency like the Channel Islands.
He named the island Forvik in honour of the Shetland's Scandinavian past.
Mr Hill, also known as 'Captain Calamity', cited a centuries-old royal marriage dowry deal between King Christian of Denmark and King James III of Scotland as the basis for his claim.
'(Forvik) recognises neither the British government, nor the European Union as its superior. Because of Shetland's unique history, there can have been no legal basis for Shetland to have been involved with either,' Mr Hill wrote on his website.
The 65-year-old has lived in the Shetland Islands since 2001 when his boat capsized there during an unsuccessful attempt to circumnavigate Britain.
While he has been living in a tent on the storm-battered island, he plans to create Forvik's own currency (1 'gulde'=price of gold x 0.13), print his own stamps and raise his own flag (right), according to his website.
'There will be no income tax, VAT, council tax, corporation tax, or any of the other taxes instituted by the British government,' he added.
According to Mr Hill's studies of the history of the island, in 1669 King Charles II re-confirmed Shetland's status at the time of the pawning, meaning the islands remained directly answerable to the crown.
'The monarchs and governments of Scotland, and Great Britain and the United Kingdom have for many years assumed powers over these islands of Shetland to which they were not entitled,' he wrote.
'By declaring Forvik a crown dependency I am simply re-establishing the correct legal relationship between this part of Shetland and the crown.'
Mr Hill said he had written to the Queen offering his services as 'steward' and recognising her as head of state.
'I also invite anyone from any country in the world, who supports these aims, namely to become free of liars, thieves and tyrants in government, to become a citizen of Forvik,' he added.
Citizenship forms are available on his website where he says he has been 'swamped' by the response. One square metre land plots will be available once he gets 'a safe landing area'.