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Irish & British Parliamentarians to assess political developments in Northern Ireland, implications for Ireland of a possible UK exit from the EU

Added 13-Nov-2015

Irish & British Parliamentarians to assess political developments in Northern Ireland, implications for Ireland of a possible UK exit from the EU

The implications of a possible "Brexit" for Ireland and the recent political developments in Northern Ireland will be among the key issues for debate by Irish and British parliamentarians when they meet in Cheltenham on Monday and Tuesday next week.

Emma Pengelly MLA and John O'Dowd MLA, representing the First Minister and Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP will open the next meeting of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly (BIPA) at Cheltenham Racecourse, Gloucestershire with an update on the current talks.

Dominic Hannigan TD, Chair of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on EU Affairs, will open the debate on the implications of a possible "Brexit" for Ireland with an address on his Committee's report on "UK/EU Future Relationship: Implications for Ireland", with a corresponding address by the UK's Minister for Europe David Lidington MP.

The Assembly will also receive an update on policing in a joint presentation by George Hamilton QPM, Chief Constable of Northern Ireland, PSNI, and Nóirín O'Sullivan, Commissioner of An Garda Síochána.

Laurence Robertson MP, British Co-Chair of the Association, said: "I look forward to welcoming members of BIPA to my constituency at the Cheltenham racecourse, with members attending from the UK, Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. This is one of the world's top horse racing venues and the sport is, of course, very important to both the UK and Ireland.

"We will discussing a number of very important issues at the Assembly meeting, such as the current political and security situations in Northern Ireland, as well as the on-going relationship between the UK and Ireland and the future of the relationship between the UK and the EU."
Irish Co-Chair Frank Feighan TD said: "The Irish Members of BIPA welcome the opportunity to come together with our colleagues from across the British Isles to discuss a range of pivotal issues relating to Anglo-Irish relations. We are hopeful that the ongoing talks in Northern Ireland will conclude positively and we wish all parties involved the very best in their ongoing engagement. I commend them all on their demonstrable commitment to reach an agreement and secure the future of Northern Ireland."

"Our focus at this 51st Plenary will be on continuing to foster political cooperation across our islands and cementing the close bonds that exist between us on issues such as national security and our common relationship with the EU. Horse racing will be another key theme as it is without doubt a sport in which Britain and Ireland share very close ties. The Irish racing industry is valued at approximately €1 billion and Britain is the largest market in the world for Irish bloodstock. It is vital that we continue to build on this solid relationship and encourage its growth and development."

Click here for the full programme of events for the 51st Plenary 

Follow the BIPA twitter channel for updates: @BritishIrishPA

Media enquiries to: 

Dublin: Nuala Walsh (+353) 86 410 0898

London: Jessica Bridges Palmer (+44) 07917 488 489


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