Minister: Customs will be ready for Brexit
JERSEY’S Customs will be ‘ready for whatever is thrown at them’ when the UK leaves the European Union, the Home Affairs Minister has said.
With negotiations between the EU and UK moving towards the final phase before Britain officially leaves the EU on 29 March next year, there are still question marks over what the deal may mean for Customs and Immigration services in the Island.
Jersey imports around £500 million in goods from the UK each year – with many items originating from the EU – and would be affected by any new trade restrictions, such as tariffs or quotas.
However, Home Affairs Minister Len Norman has said that planning for a variety of scenarios is taking place and the Island would be prepared for whatever is ultimately agreed by the EU and the UK.
He said: ‘They are putting plans in place and considering the various scenarios because when the UK do leave it will change the arrangements and controls on goods and people.
‘The difficulties are that we don’t yet know what it [Brexit] will mean for people going in and out of the Island and goods being exported and coming in so we are trying to prepare for the unknown.
‘What it will look like come March next year at this stage nobody knows.
‘The department are working on various options and they will be ready for whatever is thrown at them because the planning is going on now.’
St Clement Constable Mr Norman – the longest-serving Member of the States – admitted that he was still getting to grips with his new ministerial role but that he was enjoying the brief.
Mr Norman, who has served in the States since 1983, was elected unopposed to the Home Affairs brief, taking over from Senator Kristina Moore, who decided not to stand against him for the post.