18 October 2019
The External Relations Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, has issued the following statement:
“Today the UK Foreign Secretary has formally written to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), notifying them that the UK intends to extend the territorial scope of its WTO membership to Jersey and the other Crown Dependencies. The formal notification confirms that if the UK leaves the EU without an agreement then the extension will take effect immediately after 31 October.
“Securing WTO extension in time for Brexit ensures that Jersey companies will have access to global rules on the trade in goods, services and IP with other WTO members, including EU Member States and the majority of countries worldwide. This represents the conclusion of a political and diplomatic process to achieve extension of the UK’s WTO membership that has been an objective of the Government of Jersey for over 20 years.
“I want to thank the officials from across Government, and especially within the Ministry of External Relations and the Financial Services and Digital Economy team, for their skill, diligence and tenacity in pursuing this objective. Their work has placed Jersey on the strongest possible footing as we explore global trading opportunities post-Brexit.
“We recently began our Let’s Talk Trade public consultation to seek local views and evidence on the shape Jersey’s future international trade policy, and the opportunities presented under WTO membership are explored as part of this exercise.
“We will also be arranging briefings with local traders and members of the agricultural and fisheries industries, to ensure that they understand the regulatory and practical effects should WTO rules apply in the event of a No Deal Brexit.”