Lord William Wallace of Saltaire says that the UK needs to clamp down on CI autonomy – adding that full independence for the islands would be ‘horrifying’.
Lord Wallace – who is emphatically not the lead character in a Mel Gibson film and claims no descent from Scotland’s Braveheart hero – said that the centuries-old understanding that the UK would always respect the dependencies’ right to self-government was no longer appropriate.
‘You cannot say that a promise given 800 years ago in totally different circumstances fits in any part today,’ he said. ‘The situation with the Channel Islands is totally different from even 35 years ago because of financial globalisation. ‘
Asked during a visit to Guernsey about the prospect of fully independent Channel Islands, the Liberal peer said: ‘I would be horrified. Small jurisdictions that attract a huge amount of money are very difficult to govern without falling prey to corruption. There are several cases in the Caribbean where exactly that is happening. Guernsey and Jersey are both very small.’