Mike Freer MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the UK Ministry of Justice has made his first official visit to the Bailiwick to develop further his understanding of the islands, their constitutional relationships and the current issues they are facing.
Mr Freer MP has responsibilities which include managing the relationship with the Crown Dependencies and advising the Lord Chancellor on issues relating to the islands.
Mr Freer MP spent three days in the Bailiwick; two days in Guernsey and one in Sark. During his visit, he met with political representatives from Guernsey and Sark to discuss a wide range of current issues and priority matters, including the islands’ relationships with the UK Government and global trade interests. He also visited local businesses to gain a better understanding of the local economy and its global outputs.
Mr Freer MP was unfortunately unable to meet with Alderney representatives due to logistical and scheduling reasons but intends to visit Alderney later in the year.
President of the Policy & Resources Committee, Deputy Peter Ferbrache, said: “It has been a pleasure to welcome Mike Freer MP to Guernsey on his first official visit to the Bailiwick.
“The Ministry of Justice acts as the Crown Dependencies’ link to the UK Government on behalf of the Crown. As the Minister responsible for managing that relationship, it is important for Mr Freer to see the islands for himself to gain a better understanding of the Bailiwick. We have been able to cover a range of topics during the meetings in Guernsey, including our interests in new UK trade agreements being negotiated by the UK post-Brexit and various social and economic policy objectives.”
Chair of Sark’s Policy & Finance Committee, Conseiller John Guille, said: “During his time in Sark, Mr Freer met various members of the community including members of Chief Pleas and the Seigneur. I was happy to welcome him to the island on behalf of Sark’s government and found our discussions to be interesting and productive.”
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Ministry of Justice, Mike Freer MP, said: “I was keen to visit the islands in person at the earliest opportunity, having already met with Bailiwick representatives in London and virtually. The programme for my first trip to the Bailiwick has given me an opportunity to see some of the similarities and differences between the islands, explore inter-island relationships and their constitutional relationships with the UK in more depth, and to understand the current priorities for each government.”
Chair of Alderney’s Policy & Finance Committee, Mr Nigel Vooght, said: “Although logistics did not enable us to meet with Mr Freer during his visit to the Bailiwick on this occasion, we look forward to Mr Freer visiting Alderney itself soon when we will have the opportunity to show him our island and discuss matters of mutual interest.”