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British Irish Parliamentary Assembly to meet in Liverpool – two UK Government Ministers to address conference

The British Irish Parliamentary Assembly meets in Liverpool on 16 and 17 October for its 55th plenary. The focus of the session will be two of the central issues of Brexit - the future of the Irish border and the implications for trade. The session will feature addresses by Chloe Smith MP, Under-Secretary of State in the Northern Ireland Office, and Robin Walker MP, Under-Secretary of State in the Department for Exiting the European Union.

Ahead of the session, British Co-chair Andrew Rosindell commented:

“I am delighted to be coming to Liverpool, a city with such a strong connection to Ireland, to hold the 55th Plenary of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Brexit will of course be a dominant theme and I am pleased to be welcoming two Government Ministers to address the Assembly – Chloe Smith, Under-Secretary of State in the Northern Ireland Office, and Robin Walker, Minister in the Department for Exiting the EU.

“Solving the border question and understanding what trade will look like after the UK leaves the EU are crucial in setting out our future relationship. I look forward to getting an update from the Ministers on any progress they have made, and to discussing these issues with colleagues from Ireland, all the nations of the United Kingdom and the Crown Dependencies.”

Irish Co-Chair Kathleen Funchion TD said:

“It is of the utmost importance that we see a functioning Executive back in place in the North as soon as possible in order for the North to have a stronger voice in relation to Brexit. We hope that the Secretary of State will give us an update on the discussions towards the formation of an Executive. BIPA members will be keen to hear whether outstanding issues between the parties are likely to be resolved soon in order to restore devolution. 

“Our Assembly serves a valuable function in the fostering of dialogue and the spirit of cooperation between its diverse membership and we hope to see positive developments in the talks in order to see a return political stability in the North. As we visit the historic city of Liverpool, our programme of business reflects the long historical and cultural ties Ireland shares with the city. While Brexit will dominate proceedings, we will also hold discussions on the border, youth engagement and the Irish community in Liverpool.”

On Monday 16 October, the Lord Mayor of Liverpool will open the session and there will be addresses by Chloe Smith, Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland; Robin Walker, Under-Secretary in DexEU; Greg Quiery, historian of Irish experience in Liverpool; and Seamus Nevin, Head of Policy Research, Institute of Directors. The afternoon session will feature a debate on the Irish Border followed by a panel discussion with members of British and Irish Youth.

On Tuesday 17 October, there will be addresses by Eoin O’Neill, President of the British-Irish Chamber of Commerce; Prof Peter Shirlow, Director and Chair of the Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool; and Dr Kirsten Pullen, CEO of the British Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums.


Notes to eds:

About the Assembly

The Assembly's mission is to promote co-operation between political representatives in Britain and Ireland for the benefit of the people they represent. BIPA’s membership includes representatives from the UK Parliament, the Houses of the Oireachtas, the Scottish Parliament, the Northern Ireland Assembly, the Welsh Assembly, the High Court of Tynwald (Isle of Man) and the States of Guernsey and Jersey.

Media enquiries and accreditation requests to:

Dublin: Nuala Walsh (+353) 86 410 0898
/ nuala.walsh@oireachtas.ie
London: George Perry: + 0044 783 417 2099 perryg@parliament.uk


Follow the BIPA twitter channel for updates: @BritishIrishPA

Media enquiries to: 

Dublin: Nuala Walsh (+353) 86 410 0898

London: George Perry T:  + 0044 783 417 2099


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