Thursday 24 December 2020
The Policy & Resources Committee is welcoming the announcement that the UK and EU have reached an agreement in principle.
The Committee has said throughout the negotiating period that a 'no deal' outcome for the UK was not in the Bailiwick's interests, but it was also important that a deal was reached which took account of Bailiwick's needs and priorities.
Guernsey has been in close communication with negotiators throughout the transition period and, while the final deal has only been agreed in the past 24 hours, it appears positive in ensuring that Bailiwick businesses will continue to be able to trade in goods directly with the EU, replacing as far as possible the Protocol 3 relationship; and that it provides the basis for a stable and predictable relationship on fishing for both our fishing industry and those in neighbouring regions. Importantly, for our fishing fleet it will ensure continued tariff-free access to key French markets.
Deputy Peter Ferbrache, Chief Minister of Guernsey, said:
"Guernsey has worked hard throughout the Brexit period to ensure our message was heard and that the Bailiwick's priorities and interests were fully represented. Having said at the outset that we hoped a negotiated outcome would be possible, I am pleased at today's announcement, even if it came very late in the transition period.
Given the events of this year, and the pandemic that has impacted all communities around the world, the importance of these negotiations has not taken centre stage in the way it would have at other times, but today is an historic moment and will define the relationships for the British family and Europe going forward.
My Committee will today publish a Policy Letter for the Bailiwick's three parliaments to consider to enable our participation in the new agreement to be confirmed, but for now it is enough for me to say simply that this is very welcome and promising news."