Guernsey disappointed with UK's CPTTP deal delay – BBC

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Logistics and transportation of Container Cargo ship and Cargo plane with working crane bridge in shipyard at sunriseGetty Images

Guernsey’s external relations minister said he was disappointed with the UK government over delays to a new trade deal.

Deputy Jonathan le Tocq said uncertainty at the Department of Business and Trade had caused hold-ups with parts of Guernsey’s membership of a trade pact with Asian countries.

He said he was concerned about future negotiations if the issue was repeated.

The UK government said it “consults closely” with all Crown Dependencies.

Giving evidence to the Justice Committee in Westminster on Tuesday, alongside representatives from Jersey and the Isle of Man, Mr le Tocq spoke about Guernsey’s membership of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

He said Guernsey wanted to be fully involved in the goods and services chapters of the CPTPP.

Mr Le Tocq said: “There was a stall in taking things forward, which we couldn’t work out what was the problem.

“We now know it was a number of deadlines the UK had set itself, as far as our concerns were being represented, they weren’t able to be represented as effectively as possible. That put a huge pressure on us.

“If it hadn’t been for informal talks we had with the Canadians, they would not have realised where we were.”

The UK government is responsible for the defence and international relations of the Crown Dependencies.

A UK government spokesman said it consulted closely with all of the Crown Dependencies “when acting on their behalf internationally”, including “negotiations for the UK to join CPTPP”.

It added: “CPTPP delivers access to markets worth £9tn in GDP. The deal will cover goods trade between the Crown Dependencies and CPTPP countries, with a mechanism to include trade in services in future.”

The CPTPP, which the UK agreed to join in March, is a trade agreement between 11 nations: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

Those founding members signed the Pacific trade pact in March 2018.


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