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Brexit and Jersey

What is Brexit?

Brexit is the name given to the process where the United Kingdom (UK) will end its membership of the European Union (EU). The decision to leave the EU was made after a public vote (called a referendum) took place in the UK in June 2016.

The UK will leave the EU on 29 March 2019. Before that date, the UK and EU will need to agree on issues like the rights of people from EU countries living in the UK, the border between Ireland (which will remain in the EU) and Northern Ireland (which will be outside the EU), and future trade deals between the UK and EU countries. These negotiations are currently taking place. 

Will Brexit affect me?

Although the decision to leave the EU was made by voters in the UK, it will effect Jersey.

Jersey has a special relationship with the EU through the UK. We are only regarded as being a part of the European Union for trade in goods, otherwise the Island is not a part of the EU. The formal relationship is set out in Protocol 3 of the UK's 1972 Accession Treaty, and you may hear this called the ‘Protocol 3 relationship’. 

Both Jersey and Guernsey voluntarily use EU legislation or the international standards on which they are based. 

Following the UK’s decision to leave the EU, it's our priority to make sure that Jersey’s interests in the European Union and with the UK are understood and protected. 

Following Brexit, Jersey variant British passports will continue to be issued and will be aligned to the design of those issued in the United Kingdom.

There is currently no need for Jersey variant British passport holders to do anything prior to their current passport renewal date.

What is being done to prepare for Brexit?

We are prepared for Brexit and were planning for it before the UK voted to leave the EU in 2016. We are engaging with the UK Government through ongoing discussions between ministers and officials, and we have a positive outlook for the Island’s future post-Brexit.

Because Jersey is not part of the EU, the UK will be responsible for representing our interests in their negotiations with the EU.

We have the following aims for Brexit and have made these clear to the UK Government:

  • Being able to continue trading goods (including Jersey Royals, fish and shellfish) with the UK and Europe
  • Keeping the same relationship and following the same rules we currently do with the EU for services (legal and financial services)
  • Keeping our ‘monetary union’ with the UK, which lets us to move money freely between Jersey and the UK
  • Keeping the ‘Common Travel Area’ between Jersey and the UK, which lets you travel to the UK without the need for a passport
  • Keeping control over who can live and work in the Island

We have set up teams who are focusing on the areas where Brexit may affect Jersey most: 

  • Agriculture and fisheries
  • Immigration
  • Financial Services
  • Trade and customs
  • Transport and communications

The members of these teams are responsible for developing policy and for meeting regularly with UK officials to make sure they know what Jersey’s priorities are.

The Chief Minister also meets regularly with Robin Walker MP, the UK Minister from DExEU, the department responsible for Brexit.

The Channel Islands Brussels Office (CIBO) makes sure that Jersey’s interests are promoted in Europe. As well as representing Jersey to EU institutions, CIBO also advises the States of Jersey on EU policy issues.

Channel Islands Brussels Office website

What will happen to people from the EU who are living in Jersey?

If you're an EU citizen living in Jersey you need to apply for settled status, regardless of how long you have lived in Jersey.

Getting this status will prove that you have permission to continue living and working here in future.

Brexit and EU citizens: applying for settled status

What do local people think?

In May 2017, we asked the public to complete an online survey, letting us know what you think about Brexit and what your biggest concerns are.

We had 846 responses from Islanders of different ages and backgrounds.

We learned:

  • Two thirds were concerned about the impact of Brexit on Jersey. Those residents born in the EU were most likely to be concerned (83%), but a majority (61%) of those born in Jersey were also concerned.
  • The main concerns regarding Brexit related to higher costs to Islanders following Brexit. Other concerns related to the impact on Jersey’s economy, some of its specific industries and its workforce.
  • The greatest opportunity presented by Brexit was Jersey having more control over immigration and the size of its population, followed by opportunities to develop new relationships and trade outside of the EU.
  • A majority of residents considered it important for EU nationals to be able to move to Jersey to live and work, as long as they followed Jersey’s system of housing and employment licensing. Two thirds felt that this was important to Jersey’s economy, while half felt that this was of social and cultural importance to the Island.

You can download a copy of the report with the full results of the survey.

Download the Brexit Residents’ Survey – Research Report

How can I have a say?

We have launched a campaign called ‘Let’s Talk Brexit’ which lets you contact us with your thoughts and questions.

You can take contact us in any of the following ways:

Email: letstalkbrexit@gov.je

Telephone: +44 (0) 1534 440406

Write to: Let’s Talk Brexit, C/O Ministry of External Relations, Cyril Le Marquand House, St Helier JE1 4QB

Facebook: www.facebook.com/letstalkbrexit

Twitter: @letstalkbrexit

How can I get more information?

If you would like regular updates on how we are preparing for Brexit, then email letstalkbrexit@gov.je to subscribe to our newsletter.

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