Brexit talks reach stage of ‘critical importance’
BREXIT negotiations are now likely to move on to a stage of ‘critical importance’ for Jersey, the Chief Minister has said after the first round of talks concluded.
On Friday the European Commission announced that it has reached a settlement with the UK on the first phase of negotiations during which it was agreed that the UK would pay a £39 billion divorce settlement and a decision was made on how the border between the north and south of Ireland – the UK’s only land border with the EU – will function.
Senator Ian Gorst said that he welcomed the announcement that sufficient progress had been made, subject to European Council approval, to allow the negotiations to now move on to the next phase.
‘The Joint Report of the negotiators, published today, has outlined the significant progress made towards agreement between the UK and the EU,’ he said.
‘This includes the preservation of the Common Travel Area, of which Jersey is a member. Maintaining the CTA is vital to allowing Islanders to travel freely between the Channel Islands, the United Kingdom and Ireland without the imposition of routine immigration controls.’
He added that he believed the ‘intensity and speed’ of negotiations would now accelerate, moving on to the subjects of trade, the Customs Union and any potential transitional period, which are of vital importance to the Island.
‘As we have set out in our Brexit strategy, and as we have made clear in our engagement with the UK government to date, this stage of negotiations will focus on areas of critical importance to Jersey and the other Crown Dependencies,’ he said.
‘In this regard, I am confident that the United Kingdom will continue to work constructively with the government of Jersey on these matters and that our interests will be taken into account during the forthcoming negotiations.
‘I look forward to our ongoing dialogue with the Department for Exiting the European Union and other UK government departments.’
He added: ‘I remain confident that Jersey will successfully manage the challenges presented by Brexit, while taking advantage of the opportunities presented to us in the weeks and months ahead.’