Home     |     About the Assembly     |     News & Events     |     Members     |     Plenary Sessions     |     Committees & Reports     |     Contact Us

Co-Chairmen look forward to discussions on tourism and trade

Added 21-Oct-2012

Speaking ahead of tomorrow's opening of the 45th plenary of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly in Glasgow, the Co-Chairmen of the Assembly, Laurence Robertson MP and Joe McHugh TD have said that they look forward to discussions on Scottish efforts to boost trade and tourism and how other parts of the UK and Ireland can learn from the Scottish experience in this regard.

The Co-Chairmen said that the theme of this plenary "The Scottish Economy and Irish/Scottish Relations" and the direct engagement with a range of business and trade union representatives would build on recent work by the Assembly in identifying opportunities for economic growth in, and co-operation between, Britain and Ireland.

They added that members of the Assembly also looked forward to the contribution of Sir William McKay on Monday afternoon who would outline the work of the Commission on the consequences of Devolution for the House of Commons, and that this issue was of particular relevance given the current debate in Scotland.

The British Co-Chair, Laurence Robertson commented, "I very much welcome that the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly is meeting in Scotland for only the second time in over 20 years. It is very important that the people we represent in all parts of our two countries have an opportunity to engage with the Assembly's work, and for members to understand current issues in all parts of Britain and Ireland.

"Scotland faces the same economic challenges as other parts of the UK, and we look forward to hearing how they, like Ireland, are confronting this by boosting local business and encouraging tourism into the country.

"it is important that there is a two-way discussion between business and trade union leaders, trade union representatives and members of the Assembly so that policymakers fully understand the positions of both employee and employer when making the economic decisions that will help build recovery.

"The agenda that we have over the next two days affords us that opportunity and I look forward to a positive and interesting plenary session."

The Irish Co-Chair, Joe McHugh TD, added "Over there course of 2012 there has been a significant deepening of the economic relationship between Britain and Ireland through initiatives such as the Taoiseach and Prime Minister's joint declaration on economic co-operation last March and the completion and inauguration of the East-West electricity interconnector last month.

"The challenge for the Assembly is to build on this work and identify new and further ways for closer co-operation to boost economies in Britain and Ireland. The UK accounts for 42% of total Irish exports, and Ireland is the fifth largest market for British businesses. It is vital that during this plenary we continue to identify ways to develop this trading relationship."

The final agenda for the plenary is:

Monday 22nd October

9.30am: Address by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Theresa Villiers MP

10.50am: The Scottish Economy: the Trade Unions' Perspective - Mr Graham Smith, General Secretary, Scottish Trade Union Congress

11.40am: Tourism in Scotland - Mr Riddell Graham, Director of Partnerships, VisitScotland (formerly the Scottish Tourist Board)

3.00pm: Devolution and the ‘West Lothian Question' - Professor Sir William McKay KCB, Chair of the Commission on the Consequences of Devolution for the House of Commons

Tuesday 23rd October

9.30am: The Scottish Economy: Employers' Perspective - Mr Iain McMillan CBE, Director of CBI Scotland

10.30am: The Food and Drinks Sector in Ireland and Scotland - Diageo Ireland and Diageo Scotland

11.30am: Address by the Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism, Scottish Government, Mr Fergus Ewing MSP


© 2010 British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Website by Fuel