JERSEY could try to strengthen business ties with Australia after being included in the UK’s new trade deal with the country.
The deal was the UK’s first new free trade agreement since it left the EU at the end of last year and became an independent trading nation.
Jersey, which is part of the UK’s customs union, was included in the deal for trade in goods. Chapters within the agreement relating to other areas of trade – such as in services – could be extended to include the Island in the future.
A government statement says: ‘This arrangement aligns with the Island’s participation in other free trade agreements to date and supports our obligations under the Jersey-UK customs arrangement. Jersey’s inclusion in this agreement accords with the principles endorsed by the States Assembly for free trade agreement participation on 25 November 2021.’
External Relations Minister Ian Gorst said that the deal would ‘provide more opportunities’ for the Island’s economy.
He said: ‘It’s a deal which includes Jersey for goods and has provision to be extended to us in other sectors as well if we wish.
‘This is a really positive outcome for Jersey, providing more opportunities for our local economy to access new markets and increase our presence and visibility on the international stage.
‘The option to extend other chapters of the agreement – such as services and digital – is positive and I am particularly pleased that both parties [Australia and the UK] have published a joint statement committing to pursuing this with us.’
He added that Jersey had ‘strong cultural, social and heritage links with Australia’, not least because hundreds of Australian nationals lived in the Island.
‘We look forward to building on this agreement and securing further inclusion in other FTAs should it be in our best interests to do so,’ said Senator Gorst.