Friday 11 November 2022
Deputy Peter Ferbrache, President of the Policy & Resources Committee, today represented Guernsey at the 38th British Irish Council (BIC) Summit hosted in Blackpool by the UK Government.
The Summit focused on political developments within BIC Member Administrations and a discussion on sustainable growth and regeneration.
The Summit was opened by the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP. The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and Minister for Intergovernmental Relations. The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the Rt Hon Chris Heaton-Harris MP, also attended. The Irish Government was represented by An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin TD. The First Minister of Scotland, the Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon MSP, and the Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, Lorna Slater MSP, were also in attendance and the First Minister of Wales, the Rt Hon Mark Drakeford MS, represented the Welsh Government. The Chief Minister of Jersey, Deputy Kristina Moore, and the Chief Minister of the Isle of Man, the Hon Alfred Cannan MHK, represented the other two Crown Dependencies.
Due to the ongoing political talks in relation to the power-sharing arrangements in Northern Ireland, there was no political representation present at the Summit.
Ministers discussed the latest political developments from across the Member Administrations since the last Summit in July 2022, which was hosted in Guernsey. Issues raised included the rising cost-of-living, the energy crisis, the impact of labour shortages on the economy, housing pressures, responding to climate change, the implementation of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement and the Northern Ireland Protocol and the continuing response to the war in Ukraine. Ministers also discussed sustainable growth and regeneration, covering a range of policy areas where Member Administrations are working to build economically thriving, environmentally sustainable and resilient local communities.
President of the Policy & Resources Committee, Deputy Peter Ferbrache, said:
"It was a pleasure to attend the 38th British-Irish Council Summit in Blackpool today, hosted by the UK Government. I was very pleased to be able to meet the Prime Minister, the first time a Prime Minister has attended the Summit since 2007. The BIC forum is an important opportunity for Guernsey to engage and contribute on a wide range of policy matters with Heads of Administration from across the UK, Ireland and the Crown Dependencies.
The Council had the opportunity to discuss the current energy crisis and it was interesting to see how the region around Blackpool is dealing with energy resilience, and to discuss with the Council the enthusiasm of leaders to look at strategic opportunities throughout these islands for the development of renewables.
I look forward to the BIC forum continuing to develop and evolve as the political relationships between its Member Administrations continue to adapt, and I am certain that it will remain an invaluable forum for Guernsey to be a part of."