Guernsey punches above its weight as UK trading partner

GUERNSEY’S place in the table of UK trading partners showed how the island punches well above its weight, said Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq.

Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq, Policy & Resources' external relations lead. (Picture By Peter Frankland, 31120109)
Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq, Policy & Resources' external relations lead. (Picture By Peter Frankland, 31120109)

The Policy & Resources Committee’s lead politician for external relations has highlighted the island’s trade performance with the UK over the year to March 2022, which placed the island 47th in a global quarterly table published by the UK’s Department for International Trade.

‘Total trade in goods & services – exports plus imports – between the UK and Guernsey was £3.6bn an increase of 18.4% from the previous year,’ he said on Twitter.

A spokesman for the States external relations team said that the outgoings from Guernsey largely related to financial services while the imports from the UK related to services and goods. Figures are provided by the UK’s HM Revenue and Customs.

The tables have been produced quarterly since the start of 2016 and list some 480 countries. The fact that Guernsey was where it was on the list was good for the island, he said.

‘We tend to use it as a performance or economic indicator.’

The data was referenced in situations where the island discussed its involvement in free trade agreements with the UK.

A policy letter was due to be published in a couple of weeks’ time in relation to the latest trade agreement, he said.

Deputy Le Tocq highlighted how the total of exports plus imports had risen 18.4% over 2021, but the spokesman said the figures were ‘quite volatile’.

‘We do jump up and down the league table, and if we dropped by 20% we’d not overly worry about it.’

‘There’s been a bit of “What’s Brexit doing for us?” and this particularly shows how far up the table we are, for how small we are,’ said Deputy Le Tocq.

‘We punch above our weight in terms of the City of London and our financial services and obviously there are growing digital services over here.’

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