53rd Plenary to take place in Cardiff 28-29 November
The impact of Brexit on relations between Ireland and the United Kingdom will form the central theme of the 53rd plenary meeting of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly, which meets in Cardiff on 28 and 29 November.
On Monday 28 November, First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones will open the session and there will be addresses by James Brokenshire, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Robin Walker, Minister in the Department for Exiting the European Union, Dan Mulhall, the Irish Ambassador to the UK, and Lord Whitty, chair of the House of Lords EU Internal Trade Sub-Committee.
On Tuesday 29 November there will be a panel discussion on health systems in the UK and Ireland with speakers Dr Brian Turner of University College Cork and Tim Gardner of The Health Foundation; and a presentation on the youth engagement work of the National Assembly for Wales. Youth representatives from the countries represented in BIPA will be present as observers at the plenary meeting.
BIPA is formed of members of the Houses of the Oireachtas, Houses of Parliament, Scottish Parliament, National Assembly for Wales, Northern Ireland Assembly, High Court of Tynwald (Isle of Man) and the States of Guernsey and Jersey. It meets twice a year to promote co-operation between political representatives in Britain and Ireland and build on the close relationships established in recent years.
British Co-chair Laurence Robertson MP commented:
“I am pleased to welcome members of BIPA to Cardiff at such a crucial time in UK-Irish relations. As the UK begins the process of leaving the EU, developing and understanding a new relationship with Ireland must be a priority. We have many issues to discuss including the border, trade and security and I look forward to hearing the perspectives of colleagues from my counterparts in the Oireachtas, and in the UK’s devolved institutions.”
Irish Co-Chair Kathleen Funchion TD commented:
“The Irish Members of BIPA welcome the opportunity to come together with our colleagues from across the islands to discuss a range of pivotal issues. In an uncertain political climate, Brexit will form the cornerstone of our discussions as we seek to strengthen the bonds of cooperation BIPA has built between us. In particular, the unique relationship and ties that exist between Britain and Ireland must be nurtured in the uncertain times ahead.”
Programme of events as follows:
British Irish Parliamentary Assembly
53rd Plenary Session
Marriott Hotel, Cardiff
Monday 28 November
At 9.30 am: meeting in public session
1. BRIEF INTRODUCTORY COMMENTS BY CO-CHAIRS
2. ADOPTION OF PROPOSED PROGRAMME OF BUSINESS
3. WELCOME TO CARDIFF AND ADDRESS BY THE FIRST MINISTER OF WALES
Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM will address the Assembly and respond to questions.
At about 10.15 am
4. ADDRESS BY THE PARLIAMENTARY UNDER-SECRETARY OF STATE, DEPARTMENT FOR EXITING THE EUROPEAN UNION
Robin Walker MP will address the Assembly and respond to questions.
At about 11.00 am
5. IMPLICATIONS OF BREXIT FOR BRITISH-IRISH RELATIONS
There will follow a political debate on a motion to be moved on behalf of the Steering Committee (to be resumed in the afternoon session)
At about 12.00 noon
6. ADDRESS BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR NORTHERN IRELAND
Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP will address the Assembly and respond to questions.
The sitting will be suspended from 1.00 pm to 2.30 pm.
At 2.30 pm
7. IMPLICATIONS OF BREXIT FOR BRITISH-IRISH RELATIONS
Continuation of debate, to include contributions by visiting speakers:
• His Excellency Dan Mulhall, Ambassador of Ireland
• Rt Hon Lord Whitty, Chair of the House of Lords EU Internal Market Sub-Committee
The session will conclude not later than 5.00 pm.
Tuesday 29 November
At 9.30 am: Meeting in public session
8. YOUTH ENGAGEMENT AND THE ASSEMBLY – THE STORY SO FAR
Ann Jones AM, Deputy Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales, and officials will outline how the Assembly’s approach to engaging children and young people in the Assembly’s work has evolved over recent years and its plans for the future.
At about 10.30 am:
9. HEALTH SERVICE FUNDING AND GOVERNANCE IN THE BIPA JURISDICTIONS
Dr Brian Turner, University College Cork, and Tim Gardner, Senior Policy Fellow, The Health Foundation, will address the Assembly and respond to questions.
10. COMMITTEE REPORTS, ETC
PROGRESS REPORT FROM COMMITTEE A (SOVEREIGN MATTERS)
Mr Joe Carey TD
PROGRESS REPORT FROM COMMITTEE B (EUROPEAN AFFAIRS)
Mr Andrew Rosindell MP
PROGRESS REPORT FROM COMMITTEE C (ECONOMIC)
Senator Denis Landy
PROGRESS REPORT FROM COMMITTEE D (ENVIRONMENT & SOCIAL)
GOVERNMENT RESPONSES TO COMMITTEE REPORTS
Not later than 12.30 pm:
The Steering Committee
That the Assembly do now adjourn.
The session will conclude not later than 12.35 pm.