Ministers from the Channel Islands are tomorrow [Friday 24 September] joining French politicians in an annual summit that explores opportunities to work closely together.
The political summit with the region of Normandy and the department of La Manche is being held in Jersey this year. The annual meeting has been held since 2015, when a co-operation agreement was signed between Jersey, Guernsey, La Manche, and the region of Lower Normandy (which is now unified with Upper Normandy). Alderney and Sark are associate members of the agreement, and will be joining the meeting virtually.
The summit will focus on three main issues which affect all parties: the consequences of climate change; Covid-19; and Brexit and its potential impact, including fishing.
The following representatives will be attending:
- Jersey will be represented by the Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré, the Minister for External Relations, Senator Ian Gorst, the Minister for the Environment, Deputy John Young, and the Assistant Minister for the Environment, Deputy Gregory Guida
- Guernsey will be represented by Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq, Minister for External Affairs
- Alderney will be represented by Deputy-President Graham McKinley
- Sark will be represented by Conseiller John Guille
- Normandy will be represented by President Hervé Morin
- La Manche will be represented by President Jean Morin
- The Préfecture of La Manche will be represented by the Préfet of La Manche, Gérard Gavory.
The Minister for External Relations, Senator Ian Gorst, said: “The Normandy Summit provides us with a much-valued opportunity to meet with our closest neighbours from Normandy and La Manche.
“We will discuss a range of topics including the impact of Covid-19 and how Britain’s departure from the EU will continue to affect sectors such as fishing. This year we will also discuss how climate change could affect the region.
“Our dialogue has always been in the spirit of mutual co-operation; it is important for us to build on our relationship and to continue our commitment to work together.”
The Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré, said: “France and Jersey have been through unprecedented times over the past couple of years, and it has become even more important for us to work together to face common challenges. I am looking forward to our annual summit, which will give us all a chance to share our experience, strength and vision for the future.”
Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq, Guernsey’s Minister for External Affairs, said: “This is the first of our annual summits since the UK-EU Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TCA) came into effect on 31 December last year. While that is the formal agreement between the UK and the EU, our place in it was negotiated with a view to ensure we maintained our good neighbour relationships with France, particularly Normandy and La Manche.
“The summit also provides an opportunity to continue to learn about our approaches to the Covid-19 pandemic. We look forward to seeing the volume of travel and trade start to grow between the islands and France. The Bailiwick of Guernsey greatly values the continuing engagement and close working with our nearest French neighbours and regional partners across a range of topics.”
The next summit will be held in Normandy in 2022.