Jersey to reforge business links as UK prepares to renegotiate free trade deals: Brexit

Pedro Gonçalves
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Jersey to reforge business links as UK prepares to renegotiate free trade deals: Brexit

Jersey is looking to develop business as the UK prepares to renegotiate free trade deals with the likes of the EU, US, Australia and New Zealand after Brexit.

In a Brexit update report, External Relations Minister Ian Gorst says that the government's Brexit team will need to continue work to secure Jersey's interests as this happens.

The report, first reported by local news outlet Jersey Evening Post, said that the trade deal between the UK and EU will be the "principal" priority for Jersey but that new business links further afield will also be considered.

While the outcome of the election has reduced the immediate prospect of a no-deal Brexit in January 2020, it does not mean that we can become complacent"

"Related but distinct from the future UK-EU FTA is the work that the UK, and in parallel Jersey, is progressing to develop trade into third-country, or non-EU, markets," it said.

"Once the UK leaves the EU, Jersey's approach to external trade will need to continue to adapt, and that is why Jersey is building capacity and investing resources in this field."

The report added that the recent extension of the UK's membership of the World Trade Organisation to the Island would allow it to trade more freely internationally post-Brexit.

"Analysis and scoping work is under way to assess how Jersey will input into the future partnership discussions, principally the UK-EU free trade agreement negotiations, which are set to start in earnest in the new year," he said.

"And colleagues have been continuing their work looking beyond Brexit, securing extension of the UK's membership of the World Trade Organisation and engaging with key interlocutors around the world through our global markets strategy."

However, Jersey is still preparing for the "very real possibility" of a no-deal Brexit at the end of 2020 should the UK and EU's trade talks collapse.

"While the outcome of the election has reduced the immediate prospect of a no-deal Brexit in January 2020, it does not mean that we can become complacent," he said.

"As the withdrawal phase of Brexit looks set to reach its conclusion, the next phase - the future UK-EU relationship - will begin imminently.

"The implications of these negotiations for both the UK and Jersey are significant, and officials are building upon detailed work to assess how and where Jersey should wish to be involved in these discussions.

"The outcome of these negotiations could shape the Island for years, and Jersey needs to be ready to feed into this process and ensure the objectives and interests of our island and our economy are heard and understood."

 

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