The Chief Minister of Guernsey, Deputy Gavin St Pier, and the Chief Minister of Jersey, Senator Ian Gorst, visited Brussels on 29 November. It was the fourth visit at Chief Minister level in the past 3 years following the visits in January 2014, May 2015 and January 2016. It was the first since the UK referendum in June.
Meetings were held with the UK Permanent Representation to the EU, with the Permanent Representatives of Ireland, France, and Estonia (which will hold the EU Presidency in the second half of 2017), as well as with political advisers to the EU Commissioners responsible for financial services and taxation.
A networking event was held as part of the Brussels Invest Week at which Deputy St Pier gave a speech on the contribution of the Channel Islands to investment in the EU.
Speaking after the visit, Deputy St Pier said “These are unprecedented times for the EU and the islands are not immune to the political and economic impact of the UK’s EU exit. We were able to ensure that our concerns are understood, including that a more introspective and protectionist Europe is not good for the global economy. We also explained that the islands can play an important part in attracting inward investment into the EU. I valued the experience of seeing first-hand the effectiveness of the Channel Islands Brussels Office.”
Senator Gorst said “It is now more important than ever that we engage with key stakeholders in the EU, and our latest visit to Brussels has provided a valuable
opportunity to promote and protect CI interests, particularly in view of Brexit, and to ensure that our relationship, already as a third country, is well understood. We were able to demonstrate our value to Europe following the publication of Jersey Finance’s report in September.”