Activities: Inward Delegations

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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. 

Deputy Speaker Rt Hon Lindsay Hoyle MP welcoming delegation to Parliament

BGIPU hosts historic visit from Cuba

In the run-up to the much anticipated elections in Cuba in early 2018, BGIPU hosted a historic visit by a Cuban parliamentary delegation from 27th November to 1st December. Given many members of the delegation had academic and/or medical backgrounds, the focus of the programme that stretched over three days in Westminster and two days in Reading/Oxford was on education and health.

Fabian Hamilton MP giving delegation a tour of both Houses

BGIPU hosts timely visit from Grand National Assembly of Turkey

From 30th October to 3rd November, BGIPU hosted a high-level delegation from the Turkish Grand National Assembly led by Mr Hayati Yazici from the AK Party, Chairman of the Turkey-UK Interparliamentary Friendship Group and a former Deputy Prime Minister. The programme included three days of meetings in Westminster and two days in Edinburgh. Topics discussed during the visit included the bilateral and future trade relationship in the context of Brexit, but also human rights concerns, the fight against terrorism and regional relations. 

Members of the Philippines Senate delegation welcomed to Westminster by the Serjeant at Arms.JPG

Close engagement with counterparts from Philippines Senate

Following the British Group Inter-Parliamentary Union Delegation to Manila in 2016, the BGIPU hosted a reciprocal high level visit from the Philippines from 20 to 25 October 2017 led by Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III. The visit served to underscore the many common perspectives and mutually beneficial objectives of both parliaments, including strong mutual interest on both sides to expand bilateral relations, particularly regarding people to people contacts and trade and economic links in the context of the UK leaving the EU.

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Poland seeks continued strong relations with UK after Brexit

During a very productive bilateral visit, a delegation from the Sejm of Poland heard from UK counterparts of the strong commitment across the political spectrum to ensuring EU nationals would continue to be welcome to stay and contribute to the UK following Brexit.  In return, the visiting delegation admitted that while Poland would be losing a key ally in the EU, the UK’s departure would not prevent both sides seeking to find new opportunities to expand and strengthen already strong bilateral relations for the future.

Chairman of Ways and Means and Deputy Speaker the Rt Hon Lindsay Hoyle MP hosting the delegation

Argentina visit shows improved bilateral relations

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.

FCO Minister Sir Alan Duncan hosting Speaker Amarilla and Mr Gandini MP

Visit by Uruguayan Speaker highlights close friendship

On 16th and 17th January, BGIPU hosted the Speaker of the Uruguayan Lower House of Representatives, Dr Gerardo Amarilla, for a brief visit to Westminster. Speaker Amarilla was accompanied by Mr Jorge Gandini MP, who will take over the position as Speaker in 2018, as well as Mr Oscar Piquinela, Secretary of the IPU Group and Head of International Relations. The visit followed an outward BGIPU visit to Uruguay in September 2016, where Speaker Amarilla hosted the group in the Uruguayan General Assembly. 

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Iraq delegation keen to highlight unity and partnership with UK

BGIPU hosted from late November a delegation from Iraq led by the Chair of the Iraqi-British Parliamentary Committee, Dr Hanan Saeed Mohsin, with seven parliamentary collegues representing all the key factions of the Iraqi Parliament.  The delegation sought deeper engagement with UK counterparts with the key message being that for the first time in decades all Iraqis were united in securing the future with current efforts to liberate Mosul from the control of Daesh being a decisive and important step.