Let’s Talk Brexit Consultation

On 7 October 2019, the Government of Jersey published the Let’s Talk Brexit consultation. When Brexit takes place, Jersey’s approach to external trade will need to adapt to the new relationships between the UK, the EU and beyond. Once the UK leaves the EU and the customs union, it will once again be responsible for negotiating its own international trade agreements with the EU and others. The Government of Jersey has asked for feedback by 30 November 2019. Jersey Finance will co-ordinate an industry response and comments should be sent to Sam Sturrock by Friday 15 November 2019.

Brexit: European Leaders Agree Extension to 31 January

On 28 October 2019, EU leaders agreed in principle to extend Brexit until 31 January 2020. The decision is expected to be formalised through a written procedure. EU Council President Donald Tusk said it was a flextension, meaning the UK could leave before the deadline if a deal is approved by Parliament. A press release is available.

European Commission Communication on Equivalence – House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee

On 23 October 2019, the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee has published its first report of Session 2019-2020. The Committee notes that the explanatory memorandum submitted by John Glen MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, “failed to provide any substantive assessment of these issues, and the costs and benefits of seeking equivalence in specific financial sectors post-Brexit”. The Committee requests the Minister to clarify by 31 October 2019 if the UK Government is seeking any changes to the sections of the Political Declaration on the future UK-EU relationship related to financial services; to confirm if the Government is considering seeking equivalence under EU law post-Brexit; and, if so, under which specific pieces of EU legislation such equivalence is being prioritised. In anticipation of the Minister’s response, it is clearing the Commission communication on equivalence from scrutiny. A copy of the report is available.

Cross-Border Distribution of Funds, Proxy Advisors, Prospectus and Gibraltar (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019

On 22 October 2019, the Cross-Border Distribution of Funds, Proxy Advisors, Prospectus and Gibraltar (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019/1370) were made. The Regulations will come into force immediately before (for regulations 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the Regulations) or on (for all other regulations of the Regulations) exit day from the EU. An explanatory note is available.

Statement on World Trade Organisation Membership

On 18 November 2019, the External Relations Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, issued a statement to confirm that the UK Foreign Secretary formally notified the World Trade Organisation (WTO) that the UK is to extend the territorial scope of its WTO membership to Jersey and the other Crown dependencies. The formal notification confirms that if the UK leaves the EU without an agreement then the extension will take effect immediately after 31 October.

Brexit – UK MoU on Equivalence and Exemptions

In October 2019, HM Treasury, the Bank of England (BoE), PRA and FCA published a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on equivalence and exemptions. This sets out how the parties to the MoU expect to coordinate their respective functions in relation to equivalence and exemption determinations. These are new functions that will be transferred to UK authorities in the context of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union and will come into effect from exit day. This Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is established in accordance with regulation 6 of the Equivalence Determinations for Financial Services and Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment etc) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. Copies of the memorandum of understanding and web page are available.