Guernsey minister: 'No point' complaining about Brexit

Deputy Gavin St Pier
Image caption Deputy Gavin St Pier said any deal between the UK and EU must take Guernsey's interests into account

There is no point in Guernsey complaining about Brexit, its chief minister has told island politicians.

In his most detailed update yet, Deputy Gavin St Pier outlined how Guernsey could suffer food shortages under a no-deal scenario.

Despite not having a say in the referendum, the island must "get on" with contingency planning, Deputy St Pier added.

The crown dependency is not in the UK, nor is it a member of the EU.

Guernsey, like Jersey and the Isle of Man, does however benefit from tariff-free trade with the EU under the UK's 1972 accession treaty, which will cease to apply when the UK leaves.

'Frustrating process'

Areas like immigration, transport and energy co-operation will also be affected once the UK leaves.

"Brexit has been and will remain a very frustrating process," Deputy St Pier told Guernsey's parliament.

"It is drawing time, people and money away from our own government's priorities.

"But there is no point in complaining about it; instead, we must just pragmatically get on with it," he added.

More stories and news from Guernsey.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Sir Vince Cable has warned congestion at Portsmouth's port under a no-deal Brexit scenario will lead to "enormous" problems for the island's food supply

The island has allocated £3m for contingency planning and to re-write laws that will cease after Brexit.

It is also seeking the extension of the UK's World Trade Organisation membership to the island, expected to be announced next week, Deputy St Pier said.

Concerns have been expressed about no-deal congestion at Portsmouth's port, which supplies the majority of Guernsey's food and medical products.

Earlier, former advisor to Theresa May and Guernsey resident Joshua Livestro said stockpiling medicines and food supplies was just one "dramatic" consequence of a no-deal for the island.

Deputy St Pier acknowledged there could be shortages of some fresh food and prices could rise for islanders under such a scenario.

Guernsey's government was working with Hampshire authorities and local food providers to try to minimise any impact, he added.

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