The aim of our review was to review the Island's readiness for Brexit, including preparations for a 'Day 1 No Deal' scenario. This included any legislative changes as a result of Brexit, and the various contingency plans of each of the Island's government departments; such as the planning taking place concerning food, medicinal supplies, and other vital stocks.
This has been achieved by the publication of a Scrutiny Report, which can be accessed below. The report is accurate to the day of publication (26 March 2019), and this presentation serves as an interactive summary of the Panel's findings.
The structure of the Panel's work was unusual, in that some work was performed by standing scrutiny panels, such as the Environment, Housing & Infrastructure Panel and the Education & Home Affairs Panel.
The Panel received a total of six briefings from ministers and officers between July 2018 and February 2019. The Panel also examined confidential Brexit readiness plans from government departments and held public hearings with the Ministers for External Relations, Health & Social Services and Home Affairs between January and March 2019.
The Panel also wrote to the Ministers for Environment, Home Affairs, Treasury & Resources and External Relations, to obtain further information on their respective plans for Brexit, including their work towards preparing for a No-Deal Brexit.
We were told that Jersey forms part of the UK supply chain, and will be able to access stockpiles in the same way that any hospital or community pharmacy would do in the UK.
In the event of a No-Deal Brexit, we were assured that Jersey will be able to continue to access the UK NHS supply chain for medicines.
FOOD, FISHERIES & ANIMALS
The Panel understands that work is taking place to support and protect the Island’s fisheries industry, including in the event of a No-Deal Brexit. The evidence indicates that the Island’s fishing industry could be at risk in the event of a no deal Brexit, if appropriate border inspection posts are not installed in St Malo and Granville.
The Panel has been assured by Ministers and officials that plans are in place to ensure continuity of food supplies after Brexit. However, the Panel is aware that advice to stockpile limited amounts may be challenging for families on low income.
The Panel is satisfied that no significant disruption to ferry or air travel is expected following Brexit.
The Panel understands that a UK Technical Notice outlines that unless there is a deal, pet dogs, cats, and ferrets require a total preparation period for pet travel to an EU country after Brexit of up to four months.
FINANCE & LEGISLATION
The Minister for External Relations confirmed in a public hearing with the Panel on 18th January 2019 that, because Jersey already exists outside of the EU for services, there were a “number of tax information exchange agreements in place” and that Jersey was “already developing our double taxation treaty agreements.”
The Panel heard that Jersey authorities rely on UK intelligence agencies for accessing European intelligence. Measures have been taken to ensure that intelligence moving between Europe and Jersey remains unimpeded.
The Panel has reviewed all legislative changes lodged by Ministers in regards to Brexit. So far, the Panel has reviewed 9 sets of Regulations to prepare for potential Brexit-related scenarios and update Jersey’s legislation so it is compatible with a post-Brexit environment.
CUSTOMS, SANCTIONS, & THE VIENNA CONVENTION
Between October and December 2018, the Panel reviewed the Draft EU Legislation (Customs Union, Imports and Export Control) (Jersey) Regulations 201- (P.120/2018), the Draft Sanctions and Asset-Freezing (Jersey) Law 201- (P.119/2018), and Draft Road Traffic and Vehicles (Vienna Convention – Miscellaneous Amendments) (Jersey) Regulations 201- (P.109/2018).
The Panel published Comments Papers on P.119 and P.120. It was agreed by the Panel that further work on the Vienna Convention would be undertaken by the Environment, Housing & Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel, who subsequently delivered a Comments Paper to the States Assembly.
Both Panels were content with the scrutinised legislation without the need for a more detailed review or amendments.
IMMIGRATION & EU SETTLED STATUS SCHEME
Following the UK’s decision to leave the EU, the current migration regime in both the UK and Jersey will change. All EU citizens living in the UK, the Channel Islands and Isle of Man will lose the immediate guarantee of residency provided through the principle of freedom of movement.
The Panel understands that the Jersey EU Settlement Scheme is designed to grant EU citizens living in the Island the opportunity to register for ‘settled status’, allowing them to continue living and working in Jersey after Brexit. The scheme operates in alignment with the UK’s EU Settlement Scheme. The cut-off point for eligibility is 31st December 2020.
The Panel was told that the Island will work with other Common Travel Areas (UK, Eire & Crown Dependencies) to maintain robust immigration controls with regard to all passengers arriving from outside the CTA.