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Isle of Man

Isle of Man, also spelled Mann, Manx-Gaelic Ellan Vannin, or Mannin, Latin Mona, or Monapia. Isle of Man is a British Crown dependency but is not part of the UK or of the EU. However, the UK Government remains constitutionally responsible for its defense and international representation. Part of the Norwegian Kingdom of the Hebrides until the 13th century when it was ceded to Scotland, the isle came under the British Crown in 1765. Current concerns include reviving the almost extinct Manx Gaelic language.

The celebrated device of the three legs constitute the national emblem to this day. The three legs refer to the relative situation of the Island with respect to the neighboring nations of England, Scotland, and Ireland, previous to the union of any two of these — by which circumstance the symbol has been partly divested of its propriety. While England, Scotland, and Ireland were belligerent nations, the existence of the Isle as an independent state, depended on an armed neutrality. The legs are armed, which denotes self-defence; the spurs denote speed, and in whatever pesition they are placed, two of them fall into the attitude of supplication,—the third, being upward and behind, appears to be kicking at the assailant, against whom the other two are imploring protection.

It is situated nearly in the middle of the Irish Channel, and occupies the most central position between the sister kingdoms. From its mountain summits can be distinctly discerned the mountains of Cumberland and Lancashire in England - of Caernarvon and Anglesea in Wales — of Wicklow and Home in Ireland — and of Galloway and Dumfriesshire in Scotland. Its length is about 31 miles ; its breadth from 8 to 12 miles ; and its circumference, without following the indentations of a very irregular coast, about 75 miles. Its area comprises 209 square miles, or 140,448 acres, of which 30,000 are mountains and moorlands. The Island is intersected by an extensive montainous ridge, extending from North Barrule to South Barrule. The coasts of the Island are very rugged and abrupt, but highly picturesque.

The climate of the Island is exceedingly mild and genial throughout the year; and if the vegetation be generally a little later in developing itself in the spring, it retains its verdure later in the autumn, than in the surrounding countries. A severe Winter is almost unknown; frosts rarely commence before Christmas, and generally are so slight as scarcely to impede vegetation. Snow is seldom seen, except on the mountains, and even there, is of brief continuance. The heats of summer are much more moderate. There is hardly any other place in Europe which presents so slight a difference between the mean summer and the mean winter temperature.

The monarchy is hereditary; lieutenant governor appointed by the monarch; chief minister indirectly elected by the Tynwald for a 5-year term (eligible for second term); election last held on 4 October 2016 (next to be held in 2021). The Governor was captain-general of all the troops on the island, and also of the constabulary force. He presided in the council, in all courts of Tynwald or legislature, in all staff of government courts, and courts of general gaol delivery. Tynwald is of Norse origin, meaning “place of the assembly.”’. The bicameral Tynwald or the High Court of Tynwald consists of the Legislative Council (11 seats; includes the President of Tynwald, 2 ex-officio members - the Lord Bishop of Sodor and Man and the attorney general (non-voting) - and 8 members indirectly elected by the House of Keys with renewal of 4 members every 2 years; elected members serve 4-year terms) and the House of Keys (24 seats; 2 members directly elected by simple majority vote from 12 constituencies to serve 5-year terms).

Isle of Man High Court of Justice (consists of 3 permanent judges or "deemsters" and 1 judge of appeal; organized into the Staff of Government Division or Court of Appeal and the Civil Division); the Court of General Gaol Delivery is not formally part of the High Court but is administered as though part of the High Court and deals with serious criminal cases; note - appeals beyond the Court of Appeal are referred to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London).

Previous to the Act of Revestment in l765, the commerce of the island consisted principally of the importing and exporting of contraband goods, the average returns of which exceeded half a million sterling per annum. During that period the island was the grand refuge and storehouse for smugglers, who, as occasion offered, shipped their goods to England, Scotland, and Ireland, to the great injury of the British revenue. The peculiar fiscal privileges of the island, as also its influx of visitors, and the large circulation of money they induce, contribute materially to its prosperity and progress ; to which may be added the frequent retirement to its shores of opulent residents from the sister isles. Financial services, manufacturing, and tourism are key sectors of the economy. The government offers low taxes and other incentives to high-technology companies and financial institutions to locate on the island; this has paid off in expanding employment opportunities in high-income industries.

As a result, agriculture and fishing, once the mainstays of the economy, have declined in their contributions to GDP. The Isle of Man also attracts online gambling sites and the film industry. Online gambling sites provided about 10% of the islands income in 2014. The Isle of Man enjoys free access to EU markets and trade is mostly with the UK. In October 2014, the Isle of Man signed an OECD agreement to automatically exchange some financial account information to limit tax avoidance and evasion.

The combined attractions of an easy and pleasant voyage — of the most romantic and picturesque scenery, consecrated and hallowed by the most thrilling associations of history and antiquity — 0f an extremely salubrious and genial climate — and of every facility and inducement for recreation and pleasure — conferred popularity upon the Isle of Man as a place of resort for visitors and tourists.

The resident population on census night in April 2016 was 83,314 - 1,183 (1.4%) lower than in 2011 and the first decrease since 1986. The author of the Isle of Man Population Atlas report, Paul Craine, said the decrease was "alarming". A government spokesman said its estimates suggest the population has recovered by 200 during the last year. The island's economically active population also fell over the same period, from 44,609 to 42,777 (4.1%). Craine said: "For me the most alarming thing is the big picture - we've gone from a growth of 4,000 between censuses (2006-2011) to a drop of 1,200 and this has the potential to become cumulative. "We are losing young people, especially in their 20s. The birth rate is falling in relation to that and this has the risk to become cumulative as fewer people grow up here and few people enter the workforce."

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Page last modified: 28-06-2017 18:31:26 ZULU