Brexit: States prepare for a sitting at short notice

STATES Members could have to sit in emergency session over the Christmas break to debate whether Jersey should sign up to a new EU trade deal, if one is agreed.

Weather pics high tide very strong north easterly winds. Fishing boats in La Collette Marina harbour and Commodore Goodwill in background                                                             Picture: ROB CURRIE. (29854588)
Weather pics high tide very strong north easterly winds. Fishing boats in La Collette Marina harbour and Commodore Goodwill in background Picture: ROB CURRIE. (29854588)

Representatives from London and Brussels are still locked in talks, with the Brexit transition period set to come to an end on 31 December.

If a trade deal is not reached by that time, the UK will leave on a ‘no deal’ basis and new border tariffs will be introduced under World Trade Organisation rules.

Hopes are growing that an agreement can be reached by tomorrow and ratified shortly afterwards.

A government spokesperson said that the States was making itself ready in case little time is allowed to ratify the new deal.

‘Preparations are being made should the States Assembly need to meet at short notice in order to consider and determine Jersey’s involvement in a UK-EU trade deal,’ they said

‘The requirement for our Assembly to meet will depend on the ratification timeline agreed between the UK and EU.’

Key outstanding issues in Brexit negotiations include the ‘level playing field’, which concerns the UK’s divergence from EU rules and regulations while maintaining fair business competition.

Fishing – an issue that is highly relevant to the Channel Islands – also remains a sticking point, with no-deal meaning EU boats will no longer have automatic access to British waters.

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