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Inaugural British Irish Parliamentary Assembly Commons debate renews call for annual trade mission

Added 21-Jun-2012

The Co-Chairmen of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly, Laurence Robertson MP and Joe McHugh TD, have welcomed the inaugural debate on the outcomes of last month's 44th plenary of the Assembly that took place on the floor of the House of Commons in Westminster this morning.

This debate followed a similar discussion on the plenary outcomes that took place in Dail Eireann (Irish Parliament) last month. The Co-Chairmen said that these two formal parliamentary debates demonstrated to the public the value that each plenary brings.

In this regard they repeated their call for an annual British Irish trade mission alternating between Britain and Ireland to promote trade interests in each country. This idea was first emerged during the course of the discussions on the 44th plenary's theme of ‘Making business easier between Britain and Ireland.'

Laurence Robertson MP commented, "I fully welcome this first House of Commons debate on the outcomes of the most recent plenary that represents the new phase of Anglo-Irish relations whereby we are trying to identify real and practical measures and areas of co-operation that will benefit people living in Britain and Ireland alike.

"The British Irish Parliamentary Assembly was first established in 1990 and played an important role in developing the positive relationships between our two countries that helped achieve peace, and ultimately cumulated in last year's historic visit by Queen Elizabeth II to Ireland.

"The challenge now is to use these positive relationships to confront the new economic and social challenges that are common to both our countries, and I look forward to new ideas emerging during today's debate and in advance of the 45th plenary in Glasgow this autumn."

Joe McHugh TD added, "Among the measures we have identified is the proposal to hold an annual British Irish trade mission, alternating between our two countries that my co-Chair and I are now jointly pursuing with our respective Governments. This idea was first proposed by one of our guest speakers, Sean O'Driscoll of Glen Dimplex, and the Assembly fully supported it.

"This is an example of the value that an institution such as the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly can bring in bringing together people from different backgrounds and experiences to generate new ideas. I look forward to continuing this work and demonstrating the value that we can bring over the coming years."



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