Tuesday 25 April 2017
Minister for Exiting the European Union, Robin Walker, yesterday (24th April 2017) hosted the third meeting in a series of regular talks with the Crown Dependencies to ensure that their interests are taken into consideration in relation to the UK's withdrawal from the European Union.
There was also representation at official level from all the UK Government Departments that have been involved in discussions with the Crown Dependencies to date.
The Chief Ministers of the Crown Dependencies received an update from Minister Walker in relation to political developments within the UK Government since the last meeting, including the triggering of Article 50, the Great Repeal Bill and the Prime Minister's announcement regarding the General Election to be held on 8 June.
A wide range of topics were discussed relating to key priority areas which have a direct impact on islanders and businesses including free movement of people, customs, fisheries, agriculture and financial services. Work regarding each of these priorities has already begun between the States of Guernsey and the relevant HM Government Departments. Minister Walker commended the work already completed.
Following these discussions, the work in relation to the extension of the UK's Membership of the World Trade Organisation to the Channel Islands was prioritised. The UK Government offered their support in achieving this goal.
Ministers have also discussed the expected process and timescales for determining the structure of the UK's negotiations with the EU and how the Crown Dependencies could assist the UK Government in ensuring that their views were considered. This will be further explored at official level and kept under close review prior to and after the General Election.
President of the Policy & Resources Committee, Deputy Gavin St Pier said:
"Today's meeting with the Department for Exiting the EU Minister further demonstrated that the levels of engagement between our jurisdictions has enabled a richer understanding and further clarity of the issues that face the Crown Dependencies (and the Bailiwick of Guernsey) in light of Brexit. These include the free movement of goods, financial services and our World Trade Organisation status.
"I took the opportunity to raise once again with the UK government, the States' wish, as expressed by its support for the Roffey amendment, for the rights of EU nationals resident in the island to be resolved early in the negotiations. I was pleased to receive the Minister's reassurance once again that this also reflects the wishes of the Prime Minister and her government. He said that it was encouraging that this also appeared to the position of the EU's Commission and Parliament.
"I was particularly pleased to receive UK minister's support for the prioritisation of the extension of the UK's Membership of the World Trade Organisation to the Channel Islands and that discussions will continue to develop both with HM Government at official level and political level as the UK enters into negotiations in due course.
"As we have stated time and time again, the UK's Membership of the World Trade Organisation remains one of our key priorities and support from the UK Government is crucial to seeing this goal achieved."