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Guernsey highlights the positive over Brexit

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By Dr Andy Sloan – Two years on from the UK’s Brexit referendum vote and with the recent publication of the UK’s White Paper, it is useful to take stock of the potential impact of Brexit on global financial services and Guernsey’s trading relationships.

Speaking in Guernsey, Shanker Singham, Director of the International Trade and Competition Unit at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), and the author of the report Improving Global Financial Services Regulation, published in May by the IEA, suggested there was a positive role for Guernsey to play in supporting London to successfully orientate itself towards growing capital pools in Asia and catalyse growth and trade.

The IEA report also suggested that the UK look to partnerships with the Crown Dependencies, in addition to working with global centres such as Switzerland, the US and Hong Kong. It is perhaps no accident that this approach is ingrained in the UK government’s thinking – partnerships being a theme of the Chancellor’s most recent Mansion House speech and embedded in the UK White Paper.

Singham’s comments validated a key pillar of Guernsey’s strategy towards Brexit and financial services – that strategy being to position ourselves with UK policymakers as partners to the City’s post-Brexit trading strategy to the rest of the world.

The focus of efforts has been on reminding policymakers of our economic role – routing billions of pounds into the City of London – and convincing them of our complementarity in boosting the City’s competitiveness in the post-Brexit environment.

A high priority is afforded to commercially-focused messaging, promoting the stability and certainty of our position with respect to the UK and EU. Our global distribution capabilities remain impressive, and our route into the UK and EU27 remain the same.

For Guernsey, objectives for financial services and Brexit are all about the upside. It has become almost a cliché – though it does not stop it being true – that Guernsey’s baseline position with respect to the UK and EU remains unchanged through the process.

Our efforts in financial services are aimed at improved terms of market access, deepening partnerships, and exploiting future trading relationships.

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