Deputy St Pier in WTO talks
A DEAL to ensure smooth trade in the wake of Brexit is being pushed right to the wire.
Guernsey wants the UK to extend its membership of the World Trade Organisation to the island.
Policy & Resources president Gavin St Pier met Secretary of State Dr Liam Fox at the Department for International Trade on Thursday, but, having announced last week that would be ‘to progress this matter to a conclusion’, he has come away with more work to do.
He has described the WTO deal as significant to the Bailiwick’s future because it would enable Guernsey’s participation in the UK’s economic partnerships with the rest of the world.
Deputy St Pier described the meeting with Mr Fox on the WTO extension as ‘constructive’.
‘Delighted that UK very keen and committed to do so. More work but hope to bring policy letter to February States meeting. Welcome offer of open door and recognition of need for ongoing dialogue on future FTAs [free trade agreements].’
The next States meeting begins on Wednesday 27 February, but there has been no confirmation of how long it would take to extend the membership, even if deputies back what is presented to them.
The Guernsey Press approached Policy & Resources for a response yesterday morning to explain the timescales, process and what the consequences of not having WTO membership would be on Brexit day, but it did not answer before going to print.
The UK is scheduled to leave the EU at 11pm on 29 March, with fears growing that no deal is becoming more possible.
Under that scenario, the UK/EU relationship as it currently stands and UK/EU trade would fall back on World Trade Organisation rules and WTO provisions would apply to trade between the UK and the rest of the world. Comment Page 10