The British Irish Parliamentary Assembly (BIPA) who work to build understanding and co-operation between political representatives in Britain and Ireland held talks in London today, 22 October 2018, with a welcome address by Speaker of Tower Hamlets, Cllr. Ayas Miah. The Plenary heard addresses on Brexit and the situation in Northern Ireland, from Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Rt Hon Karen Bradley M.P. and Irish Ambassador to the UK, Adrian O’Neill and Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary Tony Lloyd MP. The session also discussed equality and democratic representation, with an address by Maria Miller M.P., Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee.
UK Co-Chair of BIPA, Andrew Rosindell M.P. commented:.
“I would like to thank all our speakers today for their engaging and thought provoking addresses. The purpose of BIPA is to ensure dialogue between our nations and parliaments, including devolved bodies in the UK. This is all the more important as Britain looks forward to leaving the European Union and we develop a new relationship. What we heard today from our members and speakers was concern about the future, but also a strong desire to work together to continue the special relationship between Ireland and the UK. This is the spirit we must move forward with and I hope both Governments share that perspective.
“I am also pleased that we continued to focus on how we at BIPA, and in our respective Parliaments can do more to improve equality. I would like to thank Maria Miller MP for address and we will reflect deeply on her perspectives on the complex challenge of improving the representation of women in our legislatures and equality in our societies.”