In recent years the growth and success of our role as a leading international finance centre has required Jersey to meet the demands of increased global scrutiny and the calls for robust regulation and transparency. We continue to identify, assess and meet those challenges, placing us among world leaders in matters of financial regulation. It is this approach that makes Jersey the attractive and respected centre for global investment that it is today.
In light of the challenges presented by Brexit, the successful development of Jersey’s international identity – and ensuring that the Island is represented as an effective, globally engaged and well-regulated jurisdiction – has never been more important.
Across the last 18 months, the Ministry of External Relations has worked to mitigate the risks presented by global developments and to build an ambitious programme of political and official engagement to ensure that Jersey has continued representation within Europe, and builds lasting relationships with emerging markets.
This work has included the growth of the Brexit Unit, established shortly after the decision by the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. Through our extensive contingency planning and ongoing dialogue at Ministerial and official level with the UK Government, we have established a series of clear, achievable objectives for the Island’s post-Brexit future.
Financial services are a core component of our Brexit planning and we have developed a successful workstream – alongside the other Crown Dependencies – to ensure the Island’s interests are understood by HMRC and HM Treasury ahead of the Brexit negotiations.
Through the Channel Islands Brussels Office, shared with Guernsey, a series of regular engagements have been organised with key decision makers in Brussels including Permanent Representatives, Ambassadors and MEPs, conveying directly our commitment to maintaining the Island’s status as a cooperative jurisdiction and good neighbour.
Although the Island will be losing the moderating influence of the UK within the EU, we also pursue an intensive strategy of country engagement to ensure that we continue to build successful relations with priority EU Member States.
In 2017 we also saw the creation of the Global Markets Team within the Ministry of External Relations, which has made bold progress in a short timeframe to develop, socialise and implement a cross-government strategy for engaging with a selected number of high-growth, priority global markets. This has included the successful delivery of a series of high-profile Ministerial visits to Africa, USA, India and the Middle East, working closely with the team at Jersey Finance to share knowledge and increase visibility.
The Global Markets team is also tasked with putting in place the legislative and treaty framework that underpins trade flows, through negotiating Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs) to provide tax certainty and Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) to provide investment protection. The development of these international agreements are crucial to ensure that Jersey has access to the economic partners of the future.
We also continue to meet the challenges presented by global calls for increased financial transparency and robust regulation. Through the work of the Government of Jersey, the Island has successfully engaged with the EU Code of Conduct Group on Business Taxation, being listed as a cooperative jurisdiction in November 2017. We have made commitments to the Code Group and will continue positive dialogue with them throughout 2018.
In June 2017, Jersey also took the step of formally signing up to the OECD Multilateral Convention on BEPS alongside 60 other jurisdictions and in December 2017 Jersey became one of the first five jurisdictions in the world to ratify the OECD’s Multilateral Instrument.
Government alone cannot meet all of the challenges presented to the Island and to our financial services sector in particular. Whilst we can provide the necessary regulatory framework and international agreements that allow our industry to meet global best practice, it is the hard work done by the Island’s businesses and professionals – in pursuit of new business and in meeting the highest standards – that will ensure our continued success.
Jersey is in a strong position as we enter a period that will see fundamental changes for the United Kingdom and Europe. Whilst further challenges are inevitable, as we have often proved, we have the skill and resilience to navigate these challenges successfully, ensuring continued prosperity for the Island, our businesses and our people.
Sir Philip Bailhache, Minister for External Relations, Government of Jersey.
Educated at Pembroke College, Oxford, obtaining an honours degree in jurisprudence, Sir Philip was called to the English bar in 1968 and admitted to the Jersey bar a year later.
He was appointed Attorney General in 1986, made a Queen’s Counsel in 1989 and appointed Bailiff of Jersey in 1995. In 1996 he was knighted and made an Honorary Fellow of Pembroke College.
Sir Philip retired as Bailiff in 2009 and was appointed as a Commissioner of the Royal Court and a judge of the Court of Appeal in 2009. He retired from the judiciary in 2011.
He was elected as a Senator in November 2011 and subsequently appointed as Assistant Chief Minister. In 2013, he was elected Jersey’s first Minister for External Relations, being re-elected to this post in 2014 following the Senatorial elections.