The island could seal the deal according to trade expert Sam Lowe of the Centre for European Reform, who told EURACTIV.com that Jersey’s “strange relationship” with the EU could be a blueprint for Britain. 

Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands, and is a Crown dependency of the UK with a special relationship with the EU. 

According to Jersey’s Ministry of External Relations: “In simple terms, the Island is treated as part of the European Union for the purposes of free trade in goods, but otherwise is not a part of the EU.”

Both Jersey and Guernsey voluntarily use EU legislation or the international standards on which they are based. 

And it is this special relationship with the bloc, that Britain could try to replicate according to the Centre for European Reform. 

Brexit secretary David Davis has pointed out one of the main reasons for a post-Brexit transition phase rather than an extension of Article 50 is to pursue an independent trade policy. 

According to Mr Lowe, there are more than 50 trade agreements, which include different types of mutual recognition agreements, such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO) lists. 

Mr Lowe said even in a transitional phase with a deadlock, as soon as the UK leaves the EU, Britain will no longer be party to these agreements. 

But the Centre for European Reform has thrown Jersey’s name into the hat as a solution to the problem. 

Mr Lowe said: “One of the suggestions that we have made, and which could be interesting for the EU, comes from Jersey’s rather strange relationship with the EU.

“Essentially, it is about keeping us in a customs union with the EU and the single market for goods, plus the EU VAT area (which Jersey is not a part of).

David Davis

David Davis has said a reason for a post-Brexit transition phase is to pursue a sole trade policy

“We suggest this because it would solve the Irish border problem: there would not be any physical infrastructure at the Irish border.

“It also removes many of the visible effects of Brexit. Of course, that would be attractive for Britain – if only because there would not be any huge truck queues in Dover.”

Mr Lowe explained the UK would be treated like Jersey, meaning the UK would no longer trade in the single market for financial services and would have to seek equivalency rules like any other third country. 

He said: “In essence, services would be treated as in any other trade agreement. 

“Britain would therefore be free of EU rules on services; we would be able to regulate services as we wanted; and we would also be able to negotiate trade agreements covering all areas that are not covered by the EU Customs Union. 

“So besides services, also investment, data, intellectual property, potential procurement … that would be a compromise: no one would be as happy as he could be – but it is also potentially attractive to the EU.

Mr Lowe said the UK would not have the opportunity to sign new trade agreements but that the EU could invite third countries to negotiate with the UK at the same time.

He said: “If this proposal were made, the EU would at least have to consider such a solution. No question: there are many reasons why they might say no; but there are also many attractive elements for the EU.

“Despite everything, I have to say that this solution is not great either. In my opinion, it is much worse than the EU membership. 

“But it may offer a way out that appeals to both parties without anyone being accused of ‘cherry picking’.”

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