Activities: Inward Delegations

Visiting Parliamentary Delegation from Slovakia meet with the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Tom Tugendhat MP and member, Mike Gapes MP.JPG

MPs from Slovakia get a box seat on the Brexit process

From 11 to 13 March, a parliamentary delegation from Slovakia visited the Palace of Westminster led by the Chair of the EU Committee, Mr Lubos Blaha accompanied by 5 other members.  The visiting delegation benefited greatly from this visit at a pivotal time in the Brexit process and had access to many key players on all sides of the debate. It gave them important views of the difficult issues facing the UK Parliament and underscored that Slovakia stands ready to support the UK as a reliable friend whatever the eventual outcome. 

The delegation visited the UK Parliament to hear more about Brexit and to strengthen relations between the UK and North Macedonia.JPG

Exchange serves to strengthen links with North Macedonia

A parliamentary delegation from North Macedonia visited the UK for a three day visit from 4 to 6 March. This visit cemented the already strong links between the Parliament of North Macedonia and the UK Parliament and was a very timely visit given that the Prespa Agreement had recently been agreed and the bilateral dispute between Greece and North Macedonia was now resolved. 

The visiting delegation led by the President of the Dutch Senate enjoyed a tour of the Palace of Westminster by Lord Craigavon.JPG

Netherlands visit boosts relations in advance of Brexit

A Parliamentary delegation from the Netherlands led by the President of the Senate made a timely visit to the UK from 25 to 27 February to discuss bilateral relations against the background of the UK’s imminent departure from the European Union.  The programme ensured the delegation met with as many relevant Select Committees as possible and that they heard from many UK Parliamentarians across the full scope of views regarding Brexit.  Exchanges showed that bilateral relations remained very close and strong.

Parliamentary delegation from Angola meet the FCO Minister for Africa, Ms Harriett Baldwin MP

Building stronger relations between UK and Angola

A parliamentary delegation from Angola visited the UK for a five-day visit from 29 October to 2 November 2018. This inter-parliamentary visit was a success in consolidating the strong relationship enjoyed between the UK and Angola and followed a UK Delegation visit to Luanda in 2015. An extensive programme allowed for exchanges with UK counterparts on economic progress in Angola, Brexit developments, bilateral issues, energy including wind farming and parliamentary practices.

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Austrian MPs get timely update on UK Brexit plans

On 2-3 July BGIPU hosted a small cross party delegation from Austria for a timely visit to see a snapshot of the state of the UK’s Brexit process moving forward and hear a wide variety of perspectives on the likely end state for a post-Brexit Britain. It was equally useful for UK members to hear about the key issues and challenges being experienced by Austria including the socio-economic impacts and political changes being created by migration pressures on Europe.

Delegation with Mark Menzies MP

Visit by Uruguayan Speaker consolidates close bilateral relations

From 18-20 June, BGIPU hosted the Speaker of the Uruguayan House of Representatives, Mr Jorge Gandini, for a 3 day programme at Westminster. Mr Gandini was accompanied by his party colleague Mr Gustavo Penades MP and Mr Roberto Chiazzaro MP, Member of the ruling Frente Amplio Party. The visit reinforced the already close relationship between the two countries and showed how helpful and important regular personal contact remains in the field of parliamentary diplomacy.

The Lithuania delegation meet the Chair of the Exiting the EU Committee, Hillary Benn MP, and BGIPU Vice-Chair John Whittingdale MP.JPG

Insights on Brexit as Lithuania reaffirms partnership with UK

From 14-18 May a cross-party parliamentary delegation from Lithuania led by former Prime Minister Mr Andrius Kubilius MP from the opposition Homeland Union and five colleagues visited UK Parliament and the Welsh Assembly.  The delegation visited at a pivotal time in parliamentary consideration of the EU Withdrawal Bill and was able to gain significant insights into not only the process but many of the motivations behind Brexit.  They also shared common perceptions with UK counterparts on the hybrid and multi-dimensional threat posed by Russia.

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Renewing old acquaintances with Liberian counterparts

From 7-11 May 2018, a parliamentary delegation from Liberia visited the UK for a five-day visit. This visit was key in re-establishing ties between the Liberian Parliament and the UK Parliament, especially given that Liberia – although not currently a Member of the IPU – was one of the original founding member parliaments of the organisation in 1889.  This visit was a notable success with the delegation expressing a keen desire to rejoin the IPU.

The delegation had a tour of Parliament with Shadow Minister for Peace and BGIPU ExCo member Fabian Hamilton MP.JPG

MPs from Estonia welcome exchanges with UK counterparts

BGIPU hosted a parliamentary delegation from Estonia, led by the Chair of the Estonian IPU delegation, Ms Helmen Kuett.  With many delegation members having strong interest in social affairs, much of the visit focused on health policy, pension reform and disability issues, but other topics such as security cooperation, e-government and the current Brexit negotiations were also discussed.  There was mutual appreciation of the excellent state of bilateral relations between both countries.

Delegation from Norway meets Chair and members of the Exiting the EU Committee.JPG

Timely visit from Norway exploring relations post-Brexit

UK members hosted a delegation from Norway led by Mr Ulf Leirstein, Head of the Norwegian’s IPU Delegation from 29-31 January 2018.  Against the background of the ongoing parliament and public debate in the UK about relations with the EU after Brexit, UK MPs and Peers took the opportunity to discuss at length Norway’s experiences dealing with its EU neighbours under EEA and EFTA provisions.  The visit also explored key aspects of the long-standing bilateral relationship, particularly economic  and security links between both countries.