Thursday 23 March 2017
The House of Lords' European Union Committee have today published a report on Brexit and the Crown Dependencies following its recent inquiry.
Deputy Gavin St Pier, Policy & Resources Committee President, gave evidence before the Committee in the House of Lords on 20 December 2016 alongside the Chief Ministers of Jersey, Senator Ian Gorst and the Isle of Man, Howard Quayle MHK. Evidence was also given by Robin Walker MP, Minister at the UK Government's Department for Exiting the EU, as well as with a series of expert advisers and academics.
Deputy St Pier said:
'I welcome and thank the Committee for this excellent report. It is aligned to our own analysis, echoes our aspirations and restates our needs - which have been consistent throughout all our engagements since last June. In particular, I welcome the recognition that the UK Government must continue to fulfil its constitutional obligations to represent the interests of the Crown Dependencies in international relations, even where these differ from those of the UK. As the Committee acknowledge, this will be important both during the Brexit negotiations and beyond. This, along with the call to involve the islands in the negotiations that will follow the triggering of Article 50, will help ensure that the exit agreement and any new arrangements will take into account the impact on the Crown Dependencies.
'The Committee has also reinforced our objectives to maintain the constitutional relationship with the Crown and close economic relationship with the UK, to retain the benefits of Protocol 3 and to develop our international identities to help build new trading relationships.'
Read the statement below released by The House of Lords Press Office:
DON'T FORGET THE CROWN DEPENDENCIES IN BREXIT TALKS
Lords EU Committee call on Government to remember its responsibilities to the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey, and the Isle of Man
The House of Lords EU Committee has today published its report on Brexit and the Crown Dependencies, calling on the UK Government to ensure that the Isle of Man, and the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey, are fully involved and engaged in the UK's Brexit negotiations with the EU.
The report highlights that while the Crown Dependencies are not part of the EU or the UK, and their residents did not have a vote in the referendum, Brexit will have a significant impact on them and their relationship with both the UK and the EU.
The Crown Dependencies' number one priority is to maintain the strength of their close relationship with the UK. Yet the Committee highlight the potential tensions between this priority, and the desire to maintain as much as possible of the benefits of their existing relationship with the EU.
The Committee identify areas where there these priorities could come into conflict, including:
- The ability to trade freely both with the UK and the EU including in fisheries, agriculture and manufacturing
- The financial services sector in the Crown Dependencies, and the ability to secure regulatory equivalence where appropriate
- The ability to continue to attract EU citizens to live and work in the Crown Dependencies while maintaining the Common Travel Area with the UK
The Committee urge the Government to ensure the Crown Dependencies are given the opportunity to participate in future trade arrangements that the UK makes with countries outside of the EU, and support Guernsey and Jersey in their efforts to ensure the UK's World Trade Organization membership is extended to them, as is already the case for the Isle of Man.
Commenting on the report, Lord Boswell, Chairman of the House of Lords EU Committee, said:
"The Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey, and the Isle of Man, are not part of the UK or the EU, but they will still be significantly affected by Brexit. We are therefore calling on the UK Government to make sure their voice is heard. The UK has a constitutional responsibility to represent the Crown Dependencies in matters of international relations, so it has a duty to represent their interests in the Brexit negotiations.
"The Crown Dependencies rely on a good relationship both with the UK and the EU and in the Brexit negotiations they may face potentially conflicting priorities in seeking to keep these priorities in balance. That makes it even more important that they are fully engaged and involved by the UK Government at every stage.
"We were pleased to hear that the Chief Ministers of the Crown Dependencies are so far satisfied that the Government has engaged constructively with them on Brexit. The real test will come when negotiations begin in earnest and we call on the Government to ensure the Crown Dependencies remain fully engaged with the process."
The report will be available online following publication on the Committee's webpage.