Questions on Alderney agreement review posed too early, deputy told
IT WAS too early to be asking for details of plans to review Guernsey’s agreement with Alderney, Emilie Yerby was told yesterday.
The West deputy put 11 questions to Policy & Resources about the 1948 Agreement, including asking whether or not the UK would be involved and how States of Guernsey members would be involved ahead of the review taking place.
Her questions were answered by P&R member Al Brouard.
In a supplementary question, Alderney representative Alex Snowdon asked if Deputy Brouard could confirm that the review would be chaired independently, but he responded that he was not in a position to do that.
Among Deputy Yerby’s questions was one asking about the involvement of the UK in any review.
Deputy Brouard said that the agreement was facilitated by the UK, but, after discussions with the Ministry of Justice, the UK did not envisage playing an active part.
After Deputy Brouard had made repeated references to the questions being asked several months too early, Deputy Michelle Le Clerc asked when a policy letter might be brought before the Assembly.
‘All I can say is that it will take as long as it takes,’ replied Deputy Brouard.
He told Deputy Yerby that it was time for the agreement to be reviewed: ‘The committee wishes to ensure that the relationship [between Guernsey and Alderney, and the agreement’s part in it, is fit for purpose in the modern context.
‘A review of the agreement could, ultimately, lead to changes in the financial, political or constitutional relationships between Guernsey and Alderney. It is too early at this stage to say what the outcomes might be.’
He also told her that any proposed changes to the agreement would have to be agreed by both States, and P&R would be consulting the relevant Guernsey committees – those who have political oversight of services in Alderney – during the review.
While social and environmental reform would be a feature of the review, the prime focus would be economic reform, he indicated. ‘One of the challenges of the relationship, as it currently exists, is that we are in fiscal union but not in political union.’
But he said that the committee was reviewing the agreement, not re-negotiating it. After the review, there could be changes suggested to the relationship between the islands, he added.