I made the following speech in support of the Population Management Group’s proposals in July 2014.
Sir, I would just like to say that I think the Population Group have done an excellent job. They have listened and dealt with the major concerns expressed since the original propositions were agreed by this Assembly.
Now, I emigrated with my parents when I was one. From Cornwall, across the Tamar border – to Devon. And I lived in a small town less than a third the size of Guernsey for the next 17 years.
BUT I wasn’t considered local. Oh no. It was well understood, even if it wasn’t in law, that you weren’t a local until your grandmother was buried in the local graveyard.
So, this sense of attachment, of ‘localness’ shall we say, is not unique to Guernsey. And I totally understand why there was such a vociferous campaign that resulted in these propositions.
I also think it is an issue of principle we are dealing with here that will have little effect in practice.
And I do find it ironic hearing those of longstanding Guernsey families saying how they did not like this differentiation – because, as someone not born here I am quite comfortable that those with a long Guernsey heritage should have an automatic birthright and my children and any children they might have, should have to go through a qualifying period to obtain permanent residency rights.
I will therefore be supporting these proposals.