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“Discriminatory” amendment rejected – but Procurer says it wouldn’t have been unlawful

“Discriminatory” amendment rejected – but Procurer says it wouldn’t have been unlawful

Thursday 20 October 2022

“Discriminatory” amendment rejected – but Procurer says it wouldn’t have been unlawful

Thursday 20 October 2022

Deputies have turned down the chance for the States to explore whether long term employment permits could’ve been granted to Common Travel Area residents who are currently only eligible for short term permits.

All members of Home Affairs spoke strongly against the amendment during Thursday's debate on the population management proposals, arguing adopting it would represent a doubling of work already considered by the Committee and its officers.

The Committee had previously warned that the amendment was “dangerous” and “discriminatory”, points later repeated throughout the debate.

Proposer Deputy Sasha Kazantseva-Miller argued that all options should be considered to ensure a stable employment market in the context of continuing Brexit and covid disruption. 

She highlighted several business sectors which are deemed ‘low-skilled’ and are struggling to recruit and retain staff through short term permits, one of which being cleaning.

Deputy Peter Ferbrache echoed the points raised by Home Affairs and sought “unequivocal assurance” from His Majesty’s Procurer that the Committees’ assessment was wrong.


Pictured: Deputies Sasha Kazantseva-Miller and Heidi Soulsby laid the amendment to the Population Review policy letter.

HM Procurer advised the Assembly that there had been insufficient time to clarify all the legal risks associated with the amendment, particularly on discrimination grounds, but “that doesn’t necessarily mean it would be unlawful in any event”. 

“The effect of this amendment itself would not be potentially discriminatory,” since it only sought a change in policy rather than legislation.

Several members had said they would await advice from His Majesty’s Procurer to better inform their voting intention. 

Deputy Gavin St Pier said, given that clarification, the warning provided by the Committee appeared “quite hyperbolic”.

Amendment seconder, Deputy Heidi Soulsby rejected claims from Home Affairs members that “the work has already been done”. She said: “It clearly hasn’t been, if so, we might have withdrawn our amendment”.

Deputy Soulsby feared that not investigating the area further would mean Guernsey would be setting more restrictive measures “than the UK is”. 

Deputies Andy Taylor and Rob Prow closed debate by saying the “overwhelming advice” of officials within their committee was that adopting the amendment would not be a “good idea”. 

How they voted

Pour: Cameron, de Sausmarez, Dyke, Fairclough, Gollop, Kazantseva-Miller, Le Tissier, Leadbeater, Soulsby, St Pier.

Contre: Aldwell, Blin, Brouard, Burford, De Lisle, Ferbrache, Gabriel, Haskins, Inder, Mahoney, McKenna, Meerveld, Moakes, Murray, Oliver, Parkinson, Prow, Queripel, Roffey, Taylor, Trott, Vermeulen.

Ne vote pas: Matthews, Roberts, Snowdon.

Absent: Bury, Dudley-Owen, Falla, Helyar, Le Tocq. 

Follow Express for further coverage of the population debate. It continues 09:30 Friday 21 October...

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