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Permit holders granted an extra year on island

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AROUND 1,300 people will be able to stay in the island for an extra year as Home Affairs moves to combat Brexit uncertainty for business.

Home Affairs president Mary Lowe. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 23884899)

A policy has been introduced with immediate effect to allow short- and medium-term permit holders to remain on island for an extra 12 months.

It applies to those permit holders who are due to reach their five-year threshold before the end of February 2020.

Between 1 February 2019 and 31 December 2019, approximately 1,330 short- or medium-term employment permits and 145 Open Market Part A (lodger) or Part D (HMO) permits will reach their expiry date.

This includes the equivalent licences under the previous Housing Control Law.

Home Affairs president Mary Lowe said: ‘The Population Management Law is specifically designed to be able to react flexibly and promptly to challenges as they emerge.

‘I am pleased that given the continued uncertainty prompted by Brexit, the committee has been able to adopt a new policy in relation to short-term and medium-term permits which will support the community, continue to manage the island’s population and demonstrate that Guernsey remains very much open for business.

‘I hope that this provides a clear message to local businesses that the Population Management Law is supportive of industry and is alive to the challenges businesses are facing.’

This is an example of the steps the Home Affairs committee is taking to prepare for all eventualities post-Brexit in order to protect Guernsey’s interests.

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Brexit is scheduled to take place on 29 March, but there are fears that negotiations are being pushed to the last minute – leading to even more uncertainty for the island as it looks to react to whatever deal, if any, emerges.

Number 10 insists Prime Minister Theresa May still plans to hold a vote on a deal as soon as possible but Labour has accused her of ‘running down the clock’ in an effort to ‘blackmail’ MPs into backing her deal.

Mrs May’s original deal with the EU suffered a historic defeat in parliament last month and she is now seeking legally-binding changes to the controversial backstop arrangement which aims to avoid a return to border checks between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

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