Yes, I have to say that the work of Vibert's committee in the late 60's on joining the EEC had far more credibility and authenticity than the sly, fake Brexit consultations that we are being encouraged to legitimise today. You got the impression that Vibert's committee was fully knowledgeable on, and respectful of, Jersey's unique constitutional position and the potential dangers that full EEC membership might bring. The committee openly set out the dangers of full membership to Jersey's most important industries, such as agriculture and tourism. This enabled the island to push for the concessions which eventually became enshrined in Protocol No. 3.
Today, by contrast, there is no honesty in whatever negotiations might be taking place without our knowledge. No Jersey government actor has clearly set out what the dangers of Brexit might be to individual industries. We've only been fed the most basic good news propaganda, like how it will be cheaper to export agriculture products to the EU and how it will be cheaper for EU tourists to visit Jersey now that the pound has been significantly devalued. Those industries are so insignificant to Jersey anyway that the drop in the pound is hardly worth mentioning as a potential advantage. Whatever crucial arrangements are
eventually decided on the island's behalf, you can be sure they will just be announced
as a fait accompli
to the people of Jersey after the event in a press release, although the major state actors such as Andy Jehan, Cook, Keen and Shenton will naturally have been kept in the loop on the negotiations throughout. As ever, the States Assembly will have no crucial role in what is decided. They will simply be told after the event what has been decided and that they must rubber stamp it or face economic armageddon. Of course there will only be one choice they can possibly take.
From day one after the referendum, we have been fed the line that Brexit will be good for us, particularly for the finance industry if you are fool enough to take what Geoff Cook says at face value. We know already that the City of London will be losing many jobs to other European cities despite having the full political might of the UK government behind it. So just how much will the full political support of Downing Street be worth to Jersey when we already know that the EU has given Spain the right to veto any agreement in respect of Gibraltar?
Small but potentially hugely significant constitutional changes seem to be drip-feeding their way through the system very quietly at the moment, but it is not clear whether they are officially connected to Brexit or whether they had been planned anyway. I am particularly thinking of the recent announcement that in future, a Jersey politician will decide on matters of asylum and deportation for non-EU nationals rather than the Lieutenant Governor:https://mobile.twitter.com/BBCJersey/status/852066401636548608
This change will be marketed as a positive move, giving the people of Jersey a direct say whereas currently they have no say. It will obviously be nodded through the Assembly without adverse comments. But what might the wider implications be? Such asylum seekers, if given the right to remain in Jersey by a Jersey politician, would presumably then be free to move from Jersey and settle anywhere else within the Common Travel Area (although I'm not sure about Eire). Therefore such decisions have national implications and that is presumably why the UK's representative in Jersey takes the decision on our behalf.
I suspect this change might have been prompted by adverse reaction in Jersey to a recent court case involving an Iraqi national who secretly entered Jersey and was then granted asylum in the UK. What would have happened if a Jersey politician had decided whether or not to accept that man's asylum application? Might he have been directly deported by Jersey from the UK without the approval of the Lieutenant Governor despite the fact that his application would have been accepted had he just made it on the UK mainland? Or would he have been permitted to make a second application direct to the UK mainland government prior to being deported out of the UK? If the end result is that asylum seekers arriving in Jersey henceforth have to go through two application procedures rather than one, then I cannot see how this can be beneficial to anyone, least of all to the people of Jersry.