Deputy Lyndon Trott met a large number of MPs and MEPs and all were interested in the island’s preparations for Brexit, which was the primary topic of conversation.
Meetings took place with Robin Walker MP and Chris Heaton-Harris MP,the Ministers at the Department for Exiting the EU responsible for managing the relationship the Crown Dependencies and contingency planning, respectively.
Meetings were also held with; Bob Neill MP, Chair of the Justice Select Committee; George Eustice, Minister of State for DEFRA and Craig Tracey, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Insurance and Financial Services; as well as the Rt Hon Lord Hunt of Wirral, Rt Hon Dame Cheryl Gillan MP and Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP, who all have a particular interest in constitutional affairs.
Deputy Trott said: “The theme of this year’s conference was ‘opportunity’, however, the first topic of conversation,with everyone I met with, was Brexit. Whilst we heard a range of views on what might be the outcome of the negotiations, there was a clear consensus that the UK will be leaving on the 29 March 2019, with no appetite for a second referendum. Everyone we met was eager to know how our interests, as Crown Dependencies, were being represented and wanted to ensure that we were getting the contact needed to prepare for the changes that will take place next year, whatever the outcome of negotiations over the next few months.”
In a series of joint meetings alongside a Jersey delegation, Deputy Trott met with Ashley Fox MEP, Daniel Dalton MEP and Jacqueline Foster MEP. These discussions were focused on the Channel Islands’ future relationship with the EU, as well as the work the islands are undertaking with the EU Commission on taxation.
In addition the delegation attended meetings with the Rt Hon Liam Fox MP, Secretary of State for International Trade, Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, Jeremy Hunt MP Foreign Secretary and Jacob Rees Mogg MP, Chairman of the European Research Group.
Deputy Trott said: “The conference this year has taken place at apivotal moment for the UK-EU negotiations and provided an opportunity for us to get advice from Ministers, back benchers and representatives of business. Whilst there was an air of excitement amongst the media presence and party members around the speech by Boris Johnson, the atmosphere was stoical around the Chequers proposal. It is clearly seen by many as a negotiating position with the Government waiting for Brussels to respond.
“It was clear from all the advice we received that Guernsey is well placed to react to the next stage in the process, with high levels of UK Parliamentary interest and the UK Government maintaining a good understanding of our objectives.”