States in talks with UK on biosecurity border measures

TALKS on biosecurity border measures required following Brexit are ongoing between Guernsey and the UK – with the island stressing the need for a ‘proportionate’ approach.

Details of discussions between the UK and the Guernsey have been revealed in a document sent by the States to the House of Commons justice select committee, which was reviewing relationships between the UK and the Crown Dependencies. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 30027739)
Details of discussions between the UK and the Guernsey have been revealed in a document sent by the States to the House of Commons justice select committee, which was reviewing relationships between the UK and the Crown Dependencies. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 30027739)

Details of the discussions have been revealed in a document sent by Guernsey’s government to the House of Commons justice select committee, which was reviewing relationships between the UK and the Crown Dependencies.

The new Brexit age means that EU products entering Britain will attract more controls and compliance measures.

Exports to the EU from Britain have been subject to new rules since 1 January, but the UK government decided to opt for a phased approach, so they will not come in until next year.

‘Discussions are ongoing between Guernsey and the UK government in respect of local implementation of border measures relating to biosecurity, which are required now the Brexit transition period has ended,’ said the document.

‘The Bailiwick takes its role as a southern border to the Common Travel Area seriously, as well as its wider international obligations. However, the character and circumstances (and sometimes the limitations) of the Bailiwick mean that the same solution adopted in the UK is seldom likely to be the right one for the Bailiwick.’

It was important to recognise the local circumstances, said the document.

‘A far more effective and proportionate approach is to tailor UK solutions to island conditions.

‘This can sometimes add an additional layer of complication, but the same can often be overcome by effective working relationships at policy and operational level.

‘It is very important that the UK government continues to recognise that there may be different ways to achieve the same outcomes, while respecting the constitutional relationship and the nuances of small island communities.’

There was also a warning that more post-Brexit issues, including with the UK-EU Trade Cooperation Agreement, could emerge as pandemic-related travel restrictions lifted.

‘As there have been restrictions on movement into and out of the Bailiwick as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is likely that other issues relating to the UK withdrawal and implementation of the UK-EU TCA may emerge as restrictions continue to ease and more travel and/or trade occurs.’

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