£3m. put aside to cope with effects of Brexit
A £3m. pot of money will be put aside to manage the impact of Brexit under recommendations to be made in the Budget.
Policy & Resources vice-president Lyndon Trott told the States about the plan yesterday as a letter written to Prime Minister Theresa May was published.
In that, P&R president Gavin St Pier told Mrs May that a ‘no-deal outcome would not be in the Bailiwick of Guernsey’s interests’.
Deputy Trott said that the possibility of a no-deal scenario had increased since July. ‘Plans are being advanced to ensure that critical services and supplies can continue to flow in and out of the islands if the UK leaves the EU with no deal,’ said Deputy Trott.
‘If there is a disorderly exit on 29 March – referred to by many as a cliff edge due to the potential sudden change in arrangements – the Bailiwick needs to ensure that proportionate contingency plans are in place.’
This means mitigating the impact on disruption and delays on goods crossing UK borders to the islands, ensuring that Guernsey vehicles can continue to drive on European roads and that people can travel freely between the Bailiwick and the UK and Ireland, he said.
Guernsey and Jersey are both now working on introducing periodic MOT-style tests for private and commercial vehicles before the Brexit deadline.
Deputy Trott said that any deal between the UK and EU needed to take island interests into account.
He said that island officials were working closely with HM Revenue & Customs to establish a future Guernsey-UK Customs arrangement underpinned by a ministerial agreement and legislation which will need to be considered by the States before it takes effect.
‘This should ensure that goods from outside the UK, from the EU and globally, will be able to continue to flow into and out of the islands as they do now. The proposed agreement is essential for the Bailiwick’s economy.
Work is ongoing on extending the UK’s membership of the World Trade Organization. This will mean Guernsey can trade in goods and services globally using the WTO’s rules which ensure that all countries trade on the same basis and are protected from any unfair or excessive trade sanctions.
In his letter, Deputy St Pier said there was now an opportunity to iron out some of the anomalies that have crept up in recent years as regards the way in which British nationals resident in the Crown Dependencies are treated.
‘By way of example, Bailiwick residents are currently treated less favourably in some cases than EU nationals (for example as regards healthcare, education, and even some banking services) despite being British nationals and despite the long established constitutional relationship which exists between us,’ he said.
Comment Page 16