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British Irish Parliamentary Assembly meets to consider "Creating Space for Economic Development"

Added 22-Nov-2010

Speaking at the opening of the 41st plenary of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly in the Isle of Man this morning, the Assembly Co-Chairs, Lord Cope of Berkeley and Niall Blaney TD, said that economic development and co-operation between Britain and Ireland are more important than ever given the turbulence of recent weeks.

The Co-Chairs were speaking as the Assembly met under the theme of "Creating Space for Economic Development" and to consider the recent Saville Report on Bloody Sunday, a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland, and the growth and development of tourism in Britain and Ireland. The Assembly will also hear keynote speeches from the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Owen Paterson MP, the President of the Nordic Council, Mr Helgi Hjorvar, and the Chief Minister of the Isle of Man, Hon JA Brown.

Speaking at the opening of the plenary, Co-Chair, Niall Blaney TD, commented, "This Assembly is meeting against the backdrop of major economic turbulence, but also at a time when bilateral relations between Britain and Ireland have never been stronger.

"Last Monday (15 November) marked the 25th anniversary of the Anglo-Irish Agreement, a truly remarkable international treaty that laid the foundations for peace in Northern Ireland and the new era of trust, respect, and co-operation between our two countries. Both the Taoiseach and the Prime Minister acknowledged the significance of that anniversary and I would fully endorse their comments.

"Today we face different challenges. Our work over the next two days is to identify ways in which Britain and Ireland can work together to create opportunities for people and communities in both our countries and the policies our Governments, parliaments, regional assemblies, and authorities should adopt to make this happen. Specifically, we will focus on how investment in tourism can contribute to that recovery.

"This Assembly has achieved much over the years in developing the positive relationships between our two countries that have been such a force for good and change in resolving conflict. It is time now to maximise these relationships to identify ways to create economic recovery."




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