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'Islands will not be sidelined during Brexit'

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THE very existence of the role of a minister to engage with the Crown Dependencies over Brexit was an illustration that they would not be sidelined, Robin Walker MP said yesterday.

Mr Walker is a minister in the Department for Exiting the European Union and he was in the island as part of a whistle-stop tour of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands as part of helping keep abreast of their concerns as part of the Brexit process.

During his time here he met States officials as well as representatives from Alderney and Sark.

He had met Channel Island representatives in the UK previously, but said that this visit was about meeting more than just government officials.

'There's no replacement for coming to a place yourself and seeing directly the importance of different industries,' said Mr Walker.

He said it was a good chance to hear directly from them what their key concerns were.

As well as meeting finance industry representatives, Mr Walker also met some from the island's fishing industry – an area which, Policy and Resources' president Gavin St Pier said, was one of the most complicated issues to deal with because of the different agreements in place already between the islands themselves and also a series of different agreements between Jersey and France.

Mr Walker had told island representatives earlier this year that extending the UK's membership of the World Trade Organisation to the Channel Islands was being prioritised.

'It's an area where we are working with officials across different government departments,' he said yesterday.

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