British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly (BIPA) Members Strengthen Ties with Visit to Jersey

Thursday 28 September 12:44

The Steering Committee of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly (BIPA) are visiting Jersey this week to meet with members of the States Assembly and Government officials.

This is one of very few visits made outside of the BIPA plenary process and will allow Committee members to gain a deeper understanding of the Island’s constitutional position and the work of its parliamentarians.

BIPA is a deliberative body consisting of members elected to the parliaments of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the British crown dependencies. Its purpose is to foster common understanding and mutually beneficial relationships between elected representatives from these jurisdictions. Deputy John Le Fondré sits as Jersey’s representative member and Deputy Kevin Lewis as an associate member.

Deputy Le Fondré, who is also the Island’s representative on the Steering Committee, will be giving a presentation to the group during their visit and hosting a formal welcome dinner. Officials from the Ministry of External Relations and Financial Services Unit will also be taking the opportunity to outline the Island’s Brexit objectives and the value of Jersey's financial services industry to the UK and European Union.

Deputy Le Fondré commented, “I am delighted to welcome the members of the Steering Committee to Jersey. The members of BIPA share common values and face similar challenges in their role as parliamentarians. This visit is a useful opportunity to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing our member Parliaments, as well as the continuing skills development required to be effective elected representatives.”

Andrew Rosindell MP, the Co-Chair of the Steering Committee said “BIPA is a fantastic vehicle for building enduring cross-jurisdictional relationships and for sharing knowledge. I am delighted that we have been invited to Jersey and welcome the opportunity to deepen my understanding of one of our member Parliaments, whilst also discussing Brexit and other legislative matters that we will have to tackle in the coming months.”

Kathleen Funchion TD, the Irish Co-Chair of the Committee also welcomed the visit, “Given the issues that our jurisdictions face in light of Brexit, especially in relation to border controls and trade connections, it is more important than ever that we can form strong relationships as parliamentarians, working in a collegiate manner to ensure the best outcome for the constituents we represent. BIPA is an ideal forum for furthering that objective, and I welcome the opportunity to discuss some of those matters whilst here in Jersey.”

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