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The British Irish Parliamentary Assembly opened in London today, 22 October 2018, with a welcome address by Speaker of Tower Hamlets, Cllr Ayas Miah. Read more »
On Monday 22 October, the session will feature addresses by Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP; Ambassador of Ireland to the UK, Adrian O’Neill; Shadow... Read more »

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British Irish Parliamentary Assembly opens in London with focus on Brexit and Northern Ireland


The British Irish Parliamentary Assembly opened in London today, 22 October 2018, with a welcome address by Speaker of Tower Hamlets, Cllr Ayas Miah. The Plenary heard addresses on Brexit and the situation in Northern Ireland, from Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP and Irish Ambassador to the UK, Adrian O’Neill and Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary Tony Lloyd MP. The session also discussed equality and democratic representation, with an address by Maria Miller MP, Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee.

Irish Co-Chair, Sean Crowe TD said: “The deepening of relationships is vital to ensure positive British Irish relations as we navigate our way through the Brexit process. Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Karen Bradley MP, today reiterated her government’s commitment to avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland and spoke of the centrality of the Good Friday Agreement to the Brexit negotiations. Since its establishment in 1990, BIPA has contributed towards British Irish relations and the bonds forged at the Assembly are now more crucial than ever if we are to ensure an orderly Brexit for everyone involved. Our members will continue to build upon those relationships and work to protect bilateral relations.” 

“The Assembly was also deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Seymour Crawford TD, who was a committed former member of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly and on behalf of the Assembly, I offer my sincere condolences to Seymour’s family and friends.”

UK Co-Chair, Andrew Rosindell MP commented: “I would like to thank all our speakers today for their engaging and thought provoking addresses. The purpose of BIPA is to ensure dialogue between our nations and parliaments, including devolved bodies in the UK. This is all the more important as Britain looks forward to leaving the European Union and we develop a new relationship. What we heard today from our members and speakers was concern about the future, but also a strong desire to work together to continue the special relationship between Ireland and the UK. This is the spirit we must move forward with and I hope both Governments share that perspective.

“I am also pleased that we continued to focus on how we at BIPA, and in our respective Parliaments can do more to improve equality. I would like to thank Maria Miller MP for address and we will reflect deeply on her perspectives on the complex challenge of improving the representation of women in our legislatures and equality in our societies.”

Read the speech from Karen Bradley MP, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland here

Speech from Irish Ambassador to the UK, Adrian O’Neill (pdf attached)

The British Irish Parliamentary Assembly continues today and tomorrow.

TUESDAY 23 OCTOBER 2018

At 10.00 am: meeting in public session in the Atlee Suite, Palace of Westminster

WELCOME FROM THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, THE RT HON JOHN BERCOW MP

At about 10.05 am:

 PROMOTING TRADE AND INVESTMENT POST-BREXIT

Graham Stuart MP, Minister for Investment, Department for International Trade, will address the Assembly.

BRITISH-IRISH RELATIONS

 Tom Tugendhat MBE MP, Chair, Foreign Affairs Committee, House of Commons, will address the Assembly and respond to questions.

 At about 11.30 am:

ADDRESS BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS

 Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, will address the Assembly and respond to questions.   

Press contact details

London: George Perry + 0044 783 417 2099 / perryg@parliament.uk

Dublin: Nuala Walsh +353 86 410 0898 / nuala.walsh@oireachtas.ie

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