29 November 2016
Today the Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, and Guernsey’s Chief Minister, Deputy Gavin St Pier, attended a series of meetings in Brussels, organised through the Channel Islands Brussels Office. This was the second visit at Chief Minister level to Brussels in 2016 and the first since the UK referendum in June.
Meetings were held with the UK Permanent Representation to the EU, the Permanent Representatives (Ambassador) 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 for a range of EU contacts where Deputy St Pier gave a speech outlining the Channel Islands’ relationship with the EU, the islands’ priorities and their economic contribution to jobs and growth in the European economy.
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.”
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.”