Guernsey’s market access update

15 October 2020

Written by Dr Andy Sloan Guernsey Finance Dr Andy Sloan

While the global Covid-19 pandemic has taken centre stage, Brexit, and the finalisation of a trade deal and market access between the UK and EU, remains a critical issue. Securing, and even enhancing, existing market access has been paramount for Guernsey’s government, particularly as the world heads into a new, post-Covid environment.

In negotiations, the States of Guernsey has sought to strengthen the island’s trading relationships – and market access – around the world, with particular focus on the UK, EU and US.

During the Brexit process, Guernsey and Jersey both joined the UK’s membership of the WTO. The territorial extent of the UK’s first post-Brexit free trade deal – with Japan – has been confirmed to include Guernsey.

Meanwhile, the island continues to enjoy and benefit from its strong historic trading relationship with the UK and other close European neighbours, and market access founded on a longstanding commitment to meeting international standards of regulation and tax transparency. This commitment extends to the island being part of the UK’s membership of the OECD for more than 30 years.

Part of the British Isles but not the UK, and located off the coast of France, Guernsey and the other Channel Islands enjoy a unique constitutionally autonomous status developed over 800 years of history.

Guernsey’s relations with the EU

Guernsey has never been a member of the EU. Guernsey was a third country before Brexit and will remain so after the transition, and importantly has a near half-century’s experience trading as a third country with the EU. The basis and operation of our market access arrangements remain unchanged.

For the funds sector, through AIFMD, market access to the EU 27 and the UK continues as it was. National Private Placement Regimes provide a proven, tested, faster and cheaper route to market.

Continuing proven market access for funds

As Guernsey’s government looks to maintain and strengthen market access and external relations for the benefit of its own citizens, the latest research continues to demonstrate Guernsey’s positive economic role in the world economy.

Guernsey continues to act as a bridge for global capital flows – bridging the UK, EU, and US markets for funds – facilitating investment capital into real assets and infrastructure. The research identified a total global capital flow of almost £120 billion in mid-2019 alone – a capital flow catalysed by the economic benefits of the tax-neutral platform.

Guernsey offers continuity, stability, and certainty - valuable commodities during such troubling times, commodities that are as attractive to principles of family offices as they are to managers of private capital.

Conclusion

These attributes are at the core of our competitiveness as a financial services jurisdiction. The breadth and depth of Guernsey’s global competitiveness is not something we should be shy about. For that reason, and the impending conclusion of the transition, we put together one ready reference document outlining our place in the world. We hope it proves valuable.

Learn more in our presentation - Guernsey: Our place in the world

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