British Irish Parliamentary Assembly (BIPA) to convene in Kilkenny on Monday

The British Irish Parliamentary Assembly will convene in Kilkenny on Monday and Tuesday, 17 and 18 July, next week. The 54th Plenary has a wide-ranging programme, which, while focused on Brexit, aims to encourage debate and discussion of a number of related topics.

On Monday, John Paul Phelan TD, Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government will open the session, discussing British-Irish relations and Brexit.

The British Ambassador, H.E. Robin Barnett, will provide an update on the British position and Emily O'Reilly, European Ombudsman, will address the Plenary on her office’s perspective on Brexit and the EU.

Ms O’Reilly has called for greater transparency and freedom of information in the European institutions, so her unique perspective on how transparency remains central to the Brexit process will be of great interest to BIPA members.

The 54th Plenary also has a uniquely youth-focused perspective, with a panel discussion with youth representatives taking place.

BIPA is formed of members of the Houses of the Oireachtas, Houses of Parliament, Scottish Parliament, National Assembly for Wales, Northern Ireland Assembly, High Court of Tynwald (Isle of Man) and the States of Guernsey and Jersey. It meets twice a year to promote co-operation between political representatives in Britain and Ireland and build on the close relationships established in recent years.

Irish Co-Chair Kathleen Funchion TD said, “The Irish members of BIPA look forward to welcoming our colleagues to the historic city of Kilkenny for two days of discussion and debate. In the midst of the ongoing Brexit negotiations, it is important not to forget about the impact of the British departure on those areas that might not be as widely discussed. For that reason, the 54th Plenary will focus on issues like transparency and youth engagement and will also provide a valuable forum for discussing matters of mutual interest and concern.”

British Co-Chair, Andrew Rosindell MP also commented, ““I am pleased to be coming to Kilkenny at this important time and would like to thank our Irish hosts for welcoming us. With Brexit discussions having begun, it is crucial that we maintain a close relationship with our partners in the Oireachtas and the devolved institutions of the UK. The impact of Brexit on the island of Ireland should not be detrimental to either nation and there are many issues including the border, trade and security to discuss. I also look forward to hearing from the Youth Council of Ireland and BIPA Youth about these vital issues.”

/ENDS

Notes to eds:

The 54th Plenary of the British Irish Assembly will take place at the Newpark Hotel in Kilkenny on Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 July.

Follow us on Twitter for updates: @BritishIrishPA

About the Assembly:

The Assembly's mission is to promote co-operation between political representatives in Britain and Ireland for the benefit of the people they represent. BIPA’s membership includes representatives from the UK Parliament, the Houses of the Oireachtas, the Scottish Parliament, the Northern Ireland Assembly, the Welsh Assembly, the High Court of Tynwald (Isle of Man) and the States of Guernsey and Jersey.

Media enquiries and accreditation requests to: 


Dublin: Nuala Walsh (+353) 86 410 0898
/ nuala.walsh@oireachtas.ie
London: George Perry: + 0044 783 417 2099 perryg@parliament.uk

PROGRAMME:

MONDAY 17TH JULY 2017

9.15 am Meeting in public session in Newpark Hotel, Kilkenny

ADOPTION OF PROPOSED PROGRAMME OF BUSINESS AND BRIEF INTRODUCTORY COMMENTS BY CO-CHAIRS

OPENING ADDRESS:
Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, John Paul Phelan T.D. will address the Assembly

10.15 am

ADDRESS BY BRITISH AMBASSADOR TO IRELAND:

British Ambassador to Ireland, H.E. Robin Barnett, will address the Assembly

11.15 am: YOUTH EMPOWERMENT FOR POLITICAL PARTICIPATION
Panel Discussion with representatives from National Youth Council of Ireland – Young Voices
- Paul Dockery
- Vanessa Mulhall
- Cárthach Ó Faoláin

12.00 pm: “PERSPECTIVES ON THE EU AND BREXIT”
The European Ombudsman, Ms Emily O’Reilly, will address the Assembly.

2.30 pm: MOVING FORWARD: ISSUES AFFECTING YOUNG PEOPLE IN IRELAND AND THE UK TODAY AND OUR ENGAGEMENTS WITH POLITICS AND SOCIETY
Panel Discussion with Youth Representatives
- Danielle Gayson – Youth Work (Ireland)
- Mark McLaughlin – Youth Action (Northern Ireland)
- Kate Seary – Youth Cymru (Wales)
- Reece Harding – Scottish Youth Parliament (Scotland)
- Brendan Quirke – UK Youth (England)

3.30 pm: MOTION/DEBATE – THE ASSEMBLY WILL CONSIDER RECENT POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS IN THE BIPA JURISDICTIONS.

The session will conclude not later than 5.00 pm

TUESDAY, 18TH JULY, 2017

9.30 am:

ANNUAL REPORT 2016

PROGRESS UPDATES FROM COMMITTEE CHAIRS (A, B, C, D) & GOVERNMENT RESPONSES TO PREVIOUS COMMITTEE REPORTS

10.00 am THE PERILS OF POLITICAL POLLING
Professor Michael Marsh, Department of Political Science, Trinity College Dublin, will address the Assembly

11.00 am REPORT FROM COMMITTEES D AND C
Committee D: Childhood Obesity (Lord Alf Dubs, Chairman)
Committee C: Interim Report on Brexit (Senator Denis Landy, Chairman)

12.15 pm ADJOURNMENT