Sark Newspaper 30 November 2018

9 From a marine traffic website, proof that yachts arrive in Sark without first clearing Customs in Guernsey or Jersey as required by the law. NO DEFINITION MEANS SARK IS A FREE-FOR-ALL Already in 2014 Sark’s unelected would-be politicians resolved that one of their top priorities was to create a definition that determines who can and who cannot lay claim to being a Sark resident. This was re-confirmed in 2017, when it was listed as number five of their top priorities. In less that two weeks Sark will hold an election and there is still no firm definition determining once for all who can vote and who cannot - and who can stand and who cannot. Indeed, the state website gives us a strong indication of how de- prioritised this ‘top priority’ has become by revealing that the Policy Development Committee in charge of developing the definition has zero members. Without border control anyone can come and go in Sark, no questions asked. Without a definition of who is entitled to claim residency, many of those who come and go are ghost residents who exploit the lack of control for their own financial benefit. They keep a Sark address to avoid paying tax elsewhere. Although these ghost residents contribute nothing to this Island, they clearly have the blessing of a ruling elite which is doing nothing to stop Sark from being a free-for-all. • Enable us to eradicate the abuse of Sark as a tax haven for people who, in reality, are residents elsewhere and contribute nothing towards our economy and community. • Enable us to welcome yachts travelling directly to Sark instead of criminalising them. Sark prides itself in being a self-governing and self- legislating jurisdiction. If our self-governing and self-legislating prowess is detrimental to the welfare of our immediate allies - the Bailiwick of Guernsey, the Channel Islands in general and the great ex- panse of the British Isles, we have to be prepared for a reaction. More importantly still, to have a future as a self- governing and self-legislation jurisdiction we must have a viable economy. The figures can’t lie and they tell their story loud and clear: the present eco- nomic situation is not sustainable. We have no time to lose. A Customs post must be in place by Easter to enable direct access to Sark for continental visi- tors because they will never come from Guernsey in the numbers Sark needs for its economic survival.