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Minister: ‘Status quo’ to continue after Brexit Day

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THERE will be no impact until the end of the year on Islanders’ ability to travel to or trade with the EU following Brexit Day on Friday, the External Relations Minister has confirmed.

Senator Ian Gorst Picture: ROB CURRIE. (27000965)

The UK is expected to leave the EU at 11am on 31 January following the passage of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s withdrawal bill through parliament bringing to an end 3½ years of gridlock.

In Jersey, External Relations Minister Ian Gorst has signed off a ministerial decision bringing into effect regulations that will change the Island’s laws to recognise the UK ceasing to be a member of the EU and becoming a ‘third country’.

Senator Gorst said that the government had been working since the referendum on EU membership was announced in 2016 to ensure Jersey was prepared for all possible scenarios.

‘Now, with the UK Withdrawal Act having received Royal Assent, it is clear that the UK will leave the EU on Friday,’ he said

‘This order will ensure that Jersey takes the necessary legislative steps to ensure the continuity of our statute book after 31 January 2020.’

The minister said that there would be little immediate impact on Jersey this Friday and the ‘status quo’ would continue for the time being while the UK and EU negotiate a new trade deal.

‘While the legal process of Brexit will take place on Friday, Islanders will not see any changes to their ability to travel to or trade with the EU,’ he said.

‘The status quo will continue until the end of the Transition Period on 31 December 2020, by which time the new relationship between the UK and EU should be in place.

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‘The focus of my work will now be on ensuring that Jersey’s interests are fully represented as the UK Government begins negotiations on the future relationship with the EU.’

He added that the results of the government’s ‘Let’s Talk Trade’ consultation, which was launched in October 2019, had helped determine the Brexit Unit’s priorities during the forthcoming negotiation period.

‘One of the key findings from the consultation was overwhelming support for Jersey to take a principles-based approach to our ongoing engagement with the UK Government,’ he said.

‘Those principles – including building on our Brexit and Global Markets objectives, and promoting and protecting Jersey’s international identity and reputation – have informed the creation of a negotiating mandate that we have shared with the UK government, to guide UK Ministers and officials in the delicate discussions about Jersey’s future as part of the wider UK negotiations.’

Ian Heath

By Ian Heath
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