Brexit trade tariffs warning

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JERSEY is having 'great difficulty' gaining membership of the World Trade Organisation, which could protect the Island from damaging trade tariffs and quotas post-Brexit, it has emerged in the House of Lords.

During a Lords questions session, Liberal Democrat peer Lord Beith asked what Brexit discussions UK ministers had had with the governments of the Crown Dependencies since the recent UK general election.

Lord Beith said that if a good trade deal was not reached with the European Union it could be very damaging for the Crown Dependencies, and that Jersey, in particular, might experience difficulties.

'And does she realise that at the moment they can't all revert to World Trade Organisation rules because Jersey, in particular, is having great difficulty in getting the application of World Trade Organisation membership to it.'

In response, Baroness Goldie said that the UK government was in 'very close discussions' with all the Crown Dependencies and the issue of WTO membership and international trade was 'one of many which is of significance' to the Crown Dependencies.

Last week, Jersey's External Relations Department published a Brexit update report in which it said gaining WTO membership was a priority.

Membership of the WTO guarantees countries certain trading rights and could protect Jersey against damaging trade tariffs and quotas if no trade deal was secured with the EU post-Brexit.

Jersey would be able to join the WTO by the UK extending its membership to the Island. Virtually every country in the world is already a member.

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