Guernsey Press

Island’s lack of representation concerns to be taken further

GUERNSEY’S concerns about lack of representation in UK negotiations should be put to the relevant bodies in the next few weeks, said the island’s representative at a recent Justice Select Committee hearing.

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Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 32160530)

External relations lead Jonathan Le Tocq spoke on behalf of the island in London alongside politicians from Jersey and the Isle of Man.

During the hearing he spoke about how Guernsey nearly missed out on being fully brought into the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal being made by the UK.

The island only found out what was going on by talking to other delegates. He told the hearing that having a senior local officer present would help in future negotiations.

But this was not the first time the issue had been raised.

‘We have put it very strongly to them that if this continues we fear we will end up in a similar position and have to do everything at the last minute,’ he said.

He anticipated that the panel, which was chaired by Sir Bob Neill, would produce a report or letter.

‘There will be a Hansard report of the hearing that will be published and certainly the Ministry of Justice and every department that was named will be expected to respond to it.’

Meetings such as this were really worthwhile, he said.

The last similar hearing was in connection to Brexit alone and that was a proper enquiry into how the interests of the dependencies were being put forward.

‘Afterwards there were quite a lot of replies and letters being written, which was why we felt it was strange when we ended up being in this position with the CPTPP.’

Opinion, page 13