Finance Minister and UK Minister of State for Northern Ireland to speak at interparliamentary event
The 65th plenary of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly (BIPA) will be held on Monday and Tuesday 23-24 October at the K Club Hotel, Kildare, Ireland.
Minster for Finance Michael McGrath and the UK Minister of State for NI Steve Baker will address the assembly on Monday. British Ambassador to Ireland, Paul Johnson is also due to speak.
Lawmakers from Ireland and all the British legislatures, and the Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories gather twice a year to discuss matters of mutual interest.
Previous plenary meetings took place in Jersey and Belfast this year.
Irish Co-Chair of BIPA Brendan Smith TD said: “We look forward to welcoming parliamentarians to Kildare for the 65th Plenary meeting of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly.”
“This is a timely opportunity to engage with colleagues from a number of legislatures and this Plenary meeting will have a particular focus on the challenges and opportunities facing us all in the new energy landscape.
“While we reflect on the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, almost 18 months on from the last Northern Ireland Assembly election, power sharing has not been restored. We welcome the opportunity to speak on how best we can support a return of the Assembly and the Executive.”
“This is an important forum where we can build relations and engage with each other on a range of issues at a time of heightened international tensions.”
British Co-Chair of BIPA Karin Smyth MP said, “It’s a great privilege to be leading the British delegation to BIPA’s Kildare plenary in a year when we have thought hard about our bilateral relations to mark 25 years of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement.”
“The enduring spirit of understanding and cooperation that this organisation stands for is essential to resolve the most prescient issues of our day, including efforts towards Stormont’s restoration.”
“Decarbonisation is one of the greatest challenges of our age and in all our interests. Achieving it will require unprecedented joint international efforts. Where better to make the most of such efforts than with our friends from across the isles where cooperation can have the greatest impact?”