John Glen said that trade with Jersey and Guernsey was worth billions of pounds. His comments come amid criticism from some UK MPs of both islands and their finance sectors and were in response to a written question.
‘The Channel Islands contribute significantly to UK trade,’ said Mr Glen. ‘The UK imported services worth £4.1 bn from Jersey, representing 2.5% of all UK service imports. As such, they were the UK’s ninth-largest services import market.’ His reply was in response to a written parliamentary question from Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell.
‘The UK exported services worth £7.2 bn, 2.6% of our total service exports, to Guernsey in 2017. As a result, they were the UK’s ninth-largest services export market in 2017.
‘More widely, the constitutional relationships between the UK and the Channel Islands are historic and highly valued, and there is a constructive working relationship between the UK Government and those jurisdictions.’
Geoff Cook, chief executive of Jersey Finance, said: ‘These are clearly welcome comments that reflect a growing appreciation in Westminster of the contribution the Channel Islands make to the UK economy. It’s always encouraging to hear endorsement, particularly from ministers in government, of the value of Jersey’s finance industry, including the professional services Jersey provides to the UK and the role it plays in facilitating high-quality investment to support trade, infrastructure, development and jobs.
‘It remains absolutely vital that Jersey’s government, supported by industry, continues to engage with politicians in the UK to provide them with data and commentary that offers a clear understanding of Jersey’s financial services industry and our positive contribution to the UK economy.’