From 13 to 16 February the Rt. Hon Stephen Timms MP led a delegation to Berlin, accompanied by Mark Hendrick MP (Labour), Iain Stewart MP (Conservative) John Nicolson MP (SNP), Baroness Hooper and Lord Shinkwin (Conservative), and the Earl of Listowel (Crossbench). The aim of the visit was to talk about the future of the bilateral relationship, in particular in the context of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, but also to get an insight into the German domestic political situation ahead of the general elections in September 2017, and to discuss current global affairs.
While the understandable primary focus of our visit to Berlin from 13-16 February 2017 was on matters relating to Brexit, a topical theme for debate was the domestic German political situation in the run-up to the Bundestag elections in September this year. While there was no consensus on the result of September’s election, our discussions with a wide range of politicians, commentators and journalists afforded the group a fascinating insight into the dynamics of domestic German politics and we shall observe the upcoming election campaign from a much more informed position.
During the week of 30 January BGIPU hosted a high profile delegation from Argentina led by the Speaker of the Senate Senator Federico Pinedo who was accompanied by a cross party delegation composed of Senator Carmen Lucila Crexell, Senator Rodolfo Julio Urtubey, Ms Margarita Stolbizer MP, Mr Eduardo Amadeo MP, and Mr Alejandro Grandinetti MP. The visit focussed on the bilateral relationship, particularly with regards to trade, but also how cooperation in other areas, such as science and education, can be improved.