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Solicitor says Island should break UK ties

An English solicitor practicing on the Island says recent comments made by the chancellor show the United Kingdom is not a great ally, and the Isle of Man should seize the moment and go it alone.

Jonathan Smalley, a partner in the Douglas based Stuart Smalley & Co, is responding to Alistair Darling's promise that the UK government will take "a long hard look" at the Island's status as a tax haven.

Chief Minister Tony Brown has expressed concern at the remarks, made during consideration by a UK Treasury Select Committee of the collapse of Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander.

Mr Brown has said it suggests Mr Darling is in the dark about the relationship between the Island and the UK and seeking clarification on the matter.

Mr Smalley believes the Isle of Man is now well placed to assert its independence, and told Manx Radio:

"To be told that cosying up to the UK isn't going to help us is something that we need to understand".

He said the UK had never been a great ally, and described the current government as "bullying Britain".

Mr Smalley went on: "We are on our own (and) we should use our own independent resources and make the most of it."

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