EU, UK, OECD
Guernsey’s constitutional position is a great advantage and a powerful defence. It has been the foundation of our prosperity, but it is not immune from challenge. We must remain aware of international pressures
- from ever-tightening standards of international regulation
- from our rivals who continue to struggle in the aftermath of COVID
- from our competitors, some of them large players who can turn in an instant from partners to adversaries.
Unfortunately, we have no diplomatic service of our own, so it falls to our elected representatives to act as our ambassadors. Guernsey has already pledged to adopt disclosure of ownership information to EU standards, and act as a good neighbour by supporting the EU in the initiative to clean up finance across the single market. But we cannot stop here. Islanders and their representatives must continue to use every opportunity to dispel misconceptions and reinforce Guernsey’s growing reputation as a centre of excellence with a cardinal role in combating international financial crime – a “safe haven” not a “tax haven”.
The change of UK government at the turn of the year brought some limited certainty on this issue, but no clarity on the ultimate shape of our relations with international business partners. The threat of no-deal in the trade negotiations lingers. The current States have thankfully made excellent preparations to cope with a variety of possible outcomes. It is therefore essential that they continue to enjoy the full support of both the public and the business community.