Stability in the UK following election is good news for Guernsey

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GUERNSEY should welcome the clarity the new Conservative majority government will bring the UK, Chief Minister Gavin St Pier has said.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his girlfriend Carrie Symonds arrive in Downing Street after the Conservative Party was returned to power in the General Election with an increased majority. PA Photo. Picture date: Friday December 13, 2019. See PA story POLITICS Election. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire (26655810)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will shortly be meeting with the Queen to ask to form a new government, after the party won a commons majority of 78 seats at last night's general election.

There had been concerns locally that if Labour had won the election it would have been damaging for the island.

Deputy St Pier said that the States of Guernsey has had a good working relationship with the UK government since the Conservatives came to power in the 2010 coalition.

'That relationship has strengthened further during the Brexit process since the UK’s 2016 referendum,' he said.

'I welcomed the assurances of the Prime Minister, in his letter to me in September, that we will continue to be fully engaged throughout the remainder of the Brexit process, as the UK negotiates its future relationship with the EU.'

He added that having a government with a substantial majority in the UK should mean greater stability in the UK and increased certainty in regard to the direction and progress of Brexit matters, including for the passage of relevant legislation through the UK parliament.

'We should welcome that clarity after so much uncertainty in recent years,' he said.

'However, assuming the withdrawal agreement now successfully passes through Parliament in the next few weeks, as is now expected, given that there is a Conservative majority, the next phase will be the negotiations to agree the future UK/EU relationship. The pace of negotiations indicated by the Conservative party will be a significant challenge for all concerned, including Guernsey. However, we are fully prepared for this and I am determined that our voice and interests continue to be articulated throughout the negotiations phase. Guernsey’s participation in any future UK/EU deal must be fair, practical and proportionate to our size and economy.'

He said he looked forward to continuing to work with the UK Government.

'I will be writing to Mr Johnson, on behalf of the States of Guernsey, both to congratulate him and his party on their election success and to express our continued desire to work closely with his government to address both the challenges and opportunities ahead,' he said.

Juliet Pouteaux

By Juliet Pouteaux
News reporter

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