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Brexit to have 'significant impact' on Channel Islands

A new report urges the UK Government to consider the Channel Islands in Brexit negotiations Photo:

The House of Lords EU Committee has called on the UK Government to remember its responsibilities to the Channel Islands when considering Britain's exit of the European Union.

The Committee has today published its report on Brexit, calling on Westminster to ensure the Crown Dependencies are fully involved and engaged in the UK's Brexit negotiations with the EU.

The report identfies the Crown Dependencies' number one priority as being to maintain a close relationship with the UK. Yet the Committee has highlighted potential conflicts which may arise in the following areas;

  • The ability to trade freely both with the UK and the EU including in fisheries, agriculture and manufacturing.
  • The financial services sector in the Crown Dependencies, and the ability to secure regulatory equivalence where appropriate.
  • The ability to continue to attract EU citizens to live and work in the Crown Dependencies while maintaining the Common Travel Area with the UK.

As a result, the Committee is urging the Government to ensure the Crown Dependencies are given the opportunity to participate in future trade arrangements that the UK makes with countries outside of the EU, and support Guernsey and Jersey in their efforts to ensure the UK's World Trade Organization membership is extended to them, as is already the case for the Isle of Man.

The Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey, and the Isle of Man, are not part of the UK or the EU, but they will still be significantly affected by Brexit. We are therefore calling on the UK Government to make sure their voice is heard. The UK has a constitutional responsibility to represent the Crown Dependencies in matters of international relations, so it has a duty to represent their interests in the Brexit negotiations.

We were pleased to hear that the Chief Ministers of the Crown Dependencies are so far satisfied that the Government has engaged constructively with them on Brexit. The real test will come when negotiations begin in earnest and we call on the Government to ensure the Crown Dependencies remain fully engaged with the process.

– Lord Boswell, Chairman of the House of Lords EU Committee