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Future of Jersey bright despite Brexit according to Chief Minister

Future of Jersey bright despite Brexit according to Chief Minister

Jersey businesses can look forward to a stable future whatever happens with Brexit according to the Island’s Chief Minister.

Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondre told guests and members at the Institute of Directors December lunch that Jersey is prepared for a hard Brexit or no Brexit should the UK not agree a deal.

Senator Le Fondre said: “The Jersey government developed a plan in 2016 on the basis of a no-deal or a hard-Brexit. This has proven a prudent approach. Our objective has been to preserve the status quo of our relationship with the UK and the EU and we have a landmark customs agreement with the UK for the Island to manage after Brexit.

“There are legitimate concerns given the symbiotic relationship between the UK and Jersey Finance, but we have put the EU Settlement scheme in place to enable EU citizens to continue working in Jersey.”

According to the Minister, new legislation to introduce economic substance requirements for certain Jersey-registered companies is vital if the Island is to avoid EU blacklisting.

Senator Le Fondre said: “We cannot afford to be complacent. The uncertainty surrounding Brexit creates risk for the Finance Industry, including the risk of punitive measures by the EU towards lower tax jurisdictions.

“The legislation we are currently putting together on economic substance for Jersey-registered companies is vital for enforcing EU requirements and for protecting our reputation to ensure Jersey is not included on EU blacklists. It is the latest step we are taking to ensure Jersey complies with international standards.”

However, complying with EU legislation is not the same as allowing the UK government to dictate laws in Jersey, something the Minister says he made clear to UK MPs Margaret Hodge and Andrew Mitchell when they visited the Island last week.

He said: “It’s not for the UK parliament to legislate for Jersey without our consent. We will be increasing out engagement with the UK parliament.”

Over 200 IoD members and guests attended the sell-out lunch, which was sponsored by Kendrick Rose, helping raise over £1000 for this year’s chosen charities, the JSPCA and Brightly.  This will be the last Christmas lunch hosted by IoD Chair, Chris Clark, who will be stepping down in May 2019 after three years as Chair.

By Julia Hunt, Founder, Leadership Writing