Chamber working on European business links
AS UNCERTAINTY over when the UK will leave the EU continues, the Chamber of Commerce has been proactive in preparing for Brexit independently of the States by looking to forge links between Europe and Guernsey businesses.
‘Enabling businesses to deal directly with one another between here and Europe is a firm focus of Guernsey Chamber and has been since the Brexit decision was taken,’ said chamber director Kay Leslie.
Chamber has engaged with Brittany, Normandy, Rennes and further afield, she said, particularly in the last year.
‘We have facilitated meetings to drive direct agreements between the hospitality and tourism sector, freight and shipping and services, together with general connectivity.’
Over the last three months these efforts have been strengthened by visits to the island by the Franco-British Council and contact between the Guernsey and Rennes Chambers of Commerce.
In addition, Chamber has worked with the Czech Embassy in London to provide business opportunities for medtech, fintech and cultural exchanges, Ms Leslie said.
‘It seemed natural to build on historical and trade activities between here and the European mainland. We are highly aware that there is substantial potential for new business between our island and particularly France.
‘We will add extra momentum to these efforts going forward and are attending events in Rennes and London to build on existing progress.’
As the UK Government was yesterday thwarted in its attempt to have the House of Commons debate its latest deal, Policy & Resources Committee president Deputy Gavin St Pier took to Twitter to emphasise the importance of any future obligations under the new relationship between the UK and the EU were suited to Guernsey: ‘“Get Brexit done....” means more negotiations begin on the future relationship,’ he said.
‘Those negotiations will engage Guernsey’s interests and in particular we will need to ensure that obligations taken on with new relationship are proportionate for us.’