Thursday 27 February 2020
The Policy & Resources Committee welcomes the release of the public negotiating mandates by both the UK and the EU which provide additional clarity ahead of the commencement of the UK-EU future relationship negotiations next week.
It is reassuring for Guernsey that the UK Government, including the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has repeatedly stated that it (and he) is committed to seeking "a future relationship with the EU that works for the entire British family" (including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man). The UK Government is responsible for representing the Bailiwick's interests even where they differ from those of the UK.
The Policy & Resources Committee has been working closely with the UK Government to prepare for the negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship, based on the positive relationships developed during the planning for the UK's exit from the EU. Any new relationship between the UK and EU must protect the trading relationship between the UK and the Bailiwick. The application of any such relationship or partnership to the Bailiwick must also respect the constitutional relationship with the Crown and ensure that the Bailiwick retains its domestic autonomy, in particular in respect of regulatory matters and taxation while enhancing the islands' trading relationships with other jurisdictions.
Deputy Gavin St Pier, President of the Policy & Resources Committee, said:
"It is important that Guernsey has as much information as possible to make decisions on our future relationships with the UK and the EU, including our part in the UK-EU future relationship negotiations and resulting agreement. The publication of the public negotiating mandates for the UK and EU assists us with that as it clarifies their starting positions. As the UK and the EU move towards their new relationship together, we will continue to be a good neighbour to both of them. The UK Government has acknowledged, and is taking very seriously, its responsibilities to represent the Bailiwick's interests throughout the negotiations, whether our interests are the same as or different from the UK's own position. The Committee will continue to do all it can to ensure that our position continues to be heard, understood and respected by the UK and the EU. It is vital that our domestic autonomy remains intact, our relationship with the Crown is unaffected and that our involvement in any resulting UK-EU agreement is relevant, practical and proportionate to the size and needs of the Bailiwick."