Guernsey's Chief Minister, Deputy Gavin St Pier, believes
the Island is a 'safe haven' for financial services
following the UK's vote to leave the EU.
Deputy St Pier was updating members of the Island's
Parliament - the States of Guernsey - yesterday on the progress
Guernsey had made since the 'Brexit' vote last week.
Following his speech, a proposition was successfully passed by
Guernsey's elected representatives to enable the Island's
Policy and Resources Committee, which Deputy St Pier leads, to
negotiate with the UK Government in order to:
i. protect Guernsey's interests in the UK exit
ii. replace Protocol 3;
iii. protect our constitutional relationship with the UK;
iv. look at, and take advantage of, new trading relationship
opportunities Deputy St Pier, along with the Chief Ministers of the
other Crown Dependencies, has already written to the UK Prime
Minister to highlight what the islands are seeking in terms of
trading relationships. He has also spoken with Lord Faulks, the
Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice, who wished to
reassure Guernsey that he and the Ministry of Justice would ensure
that Guernsey's position was properly represented.
"He [Lord Faulks] regarded this as part of his role and
that of his department. He emphasised the importance of recognising
and preserving our constitutional position," said Deputy St
"Officers are also working closely with the UK Government
and our Crown Dependency counterparts. The Prime Minister has also
confirmed in his statement to the House of Commons on Monday, that
the Crown Dependencies would need to be consulted - and this early
recognition of our position is to be welcomed."
A call has also taken place with Scotland's First Minister
Nicola Sturgeon, who wants to maintain dialogue with Guernsey
through the exit process.
"We have much better connections with Whitehall,
Westminster, Brussels and other jurisdictions in 2016 than we had
in 1972 [the year of the accession of the UK to the EEC]. We have
invested in our relationships which will assist us in the coming
weeks, months and years," said Deputy St Pier.
"In what seems like an increasingly unstable world we are,
and I am confident will continue to be, seenfor what we
are; an oasis of stability - a safe haven. We are a safe haven for
financial services - in or out of the EU - and we are a safe haven
physically for those who want to relocate here - or even just
holiday here in peace and quiet."
Guernsey Finance Chief Executive Dominic Wheatley welcomed the
clarity provided by Deputy St Pier on the steps Guernsey had
"It is important that the Island's finance sector
continues to monitor developments closely, while at the same time
recognising that while Protocol 3 makes us part of the Customs
Union and within the Single Market for the purposes of trade in
goods, for most services, such as financial services, we were
already treated as a third country and that position has not
changed as a result of Brexit," said Mr Wheatley.
"As Deputy St Pier says, Guernsey should be seen as an
island of stability for financial services during this period of
uncertainty. We already have an established third country
relationship with the EU due to the fact that over a considerable
number of years Guernsey has been able to demonstrate equivalence
to EU standards and there is no reason to suggest that existing
market access rights will be impacted."
Fiona Le Poidevin, chief executive of Guernsey Finance, explores why the Island’s new foundations legislation offers an attractive alternative for wealthy Middle Eastern individuals to protect their assets.
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