Islands in discussion with minister on Brexit talks
LEADERS of the Crown Dependencies have met British minister Penny Mordaunt, who is responsible for representing the islands’ interests during UK-EU negotiations.
The chief ministers of Guernsey and the Isle of Man, plus external ministers from Guernsey and Jersey, met Ms Mordaunt, pictured right, the Paymaster General and Cabinet Office minister, on Monday to discuss the round of negotiations being held this week.
It was an opportunity to talk about matters that might be of interest to or affect the Crown Dependencies.
The work to prepare for the negotiations and for the end of the transition period has continued since the UK left the EU on 31 January 2020.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, this has included new ways of working remotely and meeting virtually with UK counterparts. This has meant the pace of these negotiations has continued throughout the last few months as a matter of priority for the UK and the islands’ governments.
Critically, the UK and EU will hold a ‘high level conference’ to review progress on the negotiations this month.
Deputy Gavin St Pier, Guernsey’s chief minister, said: ‘It has been an exceptionally busy few months for all of our governments and this looks set to continue as we develop and manage our respective economic recovery strategies.
‘Throughout this time we have continued to stay focused on the detailed work to prepare for these negotiations with the UK government in order to ensure the interests of all the islands of the Bailiwick are fully represented, even when they differ from those of the UK.’
Jersey’s external relations minister, Senator Ian Gorst, said: ‘These are complex negotiations and in order to ensure we meet our aspirations to maintain and develop our trading relationships with the EU we have worked closely with counterparts in Guernsey and the Isle of Man.
‘We have shared interests and our close working will strengthen our positions as a whole for these EU negotiations and those the UK will be having on free trade agreements with the rest of the world.’
Howard Quayle, chief minister of the Isle of Man, said: ‘These negotiations are fast paced as we work towards 31 December 2020, to be ready for the end of the transition period, whatever the outcome of the UK-EU negotiations.
‘Each government has had to handle the Covid-19 pandemic to protect our populations from the immediate threat whilst working to plan for the future by ensuring our economic interests are taken into account in these trade negotiations.’