From a leading financial services industry, to a growing digital sector or world-famous food and drink products, Jersey is well placed to make its own contribution to the success of Global Britainby Ian Gorst / March 29, 2019 / Leave a comment
A hallmark of the British Family is our ability to punch above our weight. Nowhere is this characteristic more visible than in Jersey, an autonomous Crown Dependency and the largest of the Channel Islands, lying 85 miles off the English south coast and 14 miles west of Normandy.
With a population of slightly over 100,000, the Island would not trouble those compiling a list of the 50 most populous cities across the British Isles, and is smaller by area than either Stockport or Sunderland. Yet the contribution made by Jersey, not only to the UK but also to the global economy, belies its small stature.
Jersey has always been outward facing. From Jersey fishermen making the formidable journey to the Grand Banks in the 16th century to today, as a leading international finance centre, tourist destination, growing centre of digital innovation and exporter of some of the most recognisable food and drink products, Jersey’s outlook has always been truly international. In so doing, our small Island is able to make a telling contribution to the British brand worldwide, as well as to jobs and growth in the UK and internationally.
The relationship between Jersey and the UK is close and symbiotic. Whilst we are rightly proud of our distinct customs and culture – from our own elected parliament and legal system, to our Norman road names and cherished £1 bank notes – the economic, social and cultural ties between the UK and Jersey are many, deep and varied.
As such, we are natural partners for international business, whether through facilitating investment into the UK or supporting UK investment overseas, acting as a test-bed for emerging digital technologies on our world-leading fibre-to-the-home network, or promoting high-quality, high-value products worldwide.
Moves by the UK to develop its leadership of Global Britain come at a time when Jersey, too, has redoubled its international efforts. The creation of a dedicated Global Markets team within Government, in particular, has increased our ability to develop the sustainable relationships, and the legal and political framework, on which international business depends. These efforts are already bearing fruit – for Jersey, for the UK and for our international partners – and we are excited by the opportunities promised through closer working with a reinvigorated, trading UK.
In order to succeed, Global Britain must be more than a branding exercise. Rather, it must be built on a long-term vision that recognises trade as something done with, rather than to, international partners, and which harnesses the strengths and expertise of all parts of the British family. The opportunities for us all are real, and Jersey stands ready to play its part. Small we may be, but our ambition and our potential are without limit.