Saint Helier – Jersey

The island of Jersey is the largest and southernmost of the British Channel Islands. It lies in the English Channel, northwest of France. Saint Helier is the capital of Jersey.

The Bailiwick of Jersey is a self-governing British crown dependency and is not administered by the United Kingdom. The Channel Islands are the last remnants of the Dukedom of Normandy and are considered a separate jurisdiction to the United Kingdom.

Although the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey are often referred to collectively as ‘the Channel Islands’, they are not a constitutional or political unit. Jersey has a separate relationship to the British Crown from the other Crown Dependencies of Guernsey and the Isle of Man. It is not part of the United Kingdom, and has an international identity separate from that of the UK  but the United Kingdom is constitutionally responsible for the defence of Jersey.

Jersey is not a part of the European Union but has a special relationship with it, being treated as part of the European Community for the purposes of free trade in goods.

High earnings, zero inheritance tax rates and a mild climate make the island a popular offshore finance centre. Tourism, banking and finance, and agriculture, particular dairying, are mainstays of the economy. Produce includes potatoes (Jersey Royals), cauliflower, tomatoes, flowers, beef and dairy products as well as light industrial and electrical goods, and textiles.

The island of Jersey and the other Channel Islands represent the last remnants of the medieval Dukedom of Normandy that held sway in both France and England. These islands were the only British soil occupied by German troops in World War II.

Some people from Jersey refer to themselves as British. Some people refer to themselves as Normanic, or some even French! People from Jersey are not English (in the same way the Welsh are the Welsh, the Scottish are the Scottish and the Irish are the Irish). The correct/official way of describing persons from Jersey are ‘Jerseymen’ and ‘Jerseywomen’. Calling them anything else may offend.

As a general rule, people from Jersey are very pro-Europe and would describe themselves as being more a part of Europe than Great Britain is, on the basis of geography and French cultures. However, people from Great Britain rarely refer themselves as European.

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