24 June 2016
The Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, has released the following statement:
“The people of the United Kingdoms vote to end their membership of the European Union is a significant development.
"There is now likely to be a period of some uncertainty across the UK and Europe, but Jersey is well placed to weather the effects of this change.
“We are already outside the EU for most purposes, and the relationship that Jersey enjoys with the EU is not going to change overnight. It is expected that there will be a period of up to two years before the UK formally exits the EU, which means that the formal arrangements governing Jersey’s relationship with the EU – Protocol 3 to the UK Treaty of Accession – will remain in place during that time.
“Jersey’s Government and industry have been busy establishing the foundations for the Island’s future prosperity by diversifying our economy into new service sectors such as digital, and growing and strengthening our links with dynamic markets around the world, in areas like the Middle East, Asia and Africa. This clear plan, together with substantial reserves and a prudent approach to our finances, means that Jersey is in a strong position to take action to stimulate its economy if needed, and to secure our long-term economic future.
Maintaining current relationships
“Jersey ministers and officials have worked hard to ensure that the UK Government understands Jersey’s interests and will take them into account in its future negotiations with the EU. We have been clear that, whatever the result of those negotiations, the Government of Jersey believes that the Island’s best interests lie in maintaining the substance of our current relationships with the EU, as set out in Protocol 3, and with the United Kingdom.
“The Council of Ministers have met to discuss what today’s announcement means for Jersey, and to reach an agreement on the work that we will now undertake. I will meet States members later today, and a report will soon be published setting out the Government’s position in more detail. Ministers will also be meeting the public around the Island to discuss what this vote means for Islanders and to outline the Government’s plan to secure the best possible outcome for Jersey.
“In the coming days, I will write to the Prime Minister to set out Jersey’s position more formally, and we will continue to work closely with the UK Government in the weeks and months ahead to ensure that we are kept informed of developments and to safeguard Jersey’s interests as negotiations progress.
“Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to say to those currently living and working in Jersey, who are nationals of EU Member States or of countries further afield, that we are determined to preserve their contribution to the Island community, which is both welcome and greatly valued.”