Published: Tue, 10 May 2022
Thursday: First EU-UK Parliamentary Assembly convenes in Brussels
“If the UK government genuinely wants to see a stable, constructive Stormont Assembly established, then they need to support their words with action and genuine leadership”, warned Seán Kelly MEP and First Vice-Chair of the EU-UK Parliamentary Partnership Assembly (PPA).
“We have heard a lot of spin and bluster coming from leading UK government figures in recent days. But what Northern Ireland needs is a UK government that is able to demonstrate by example, as the Irish government has, and show genuine political willingness to find solutions to resolve any outstanding issues around the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
“Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Northern Ireland Secretary of State Brandon Lewis first need to be honest and own the Brexit deal that the UK itself negotiated and signed up to. This is an international legal agreement that they must honour or carry the label of an untrustworthy partner on the global stage”.
“The EU side has been more than flexible and patient and genuinely want to find a resolution. Can the same be said of the UK?” he questioned.
Mr Kelly’s comments come ahead of Tuesday’s speech by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, which, as some have suggested, may signal attempts to row back on parts of the NI Protocol.
As First Vice-Chair of the EU-UK Parliamentary Partnership Assembly, MEP Kelly will play a key role at its first meeting in Brussels on Thursday and Friday of this week (12-13 May): “The game-playing must end.
“On Thursday and Friday, I and my MEP colleagues will meet with MPs from the UK and convene the first ever EU-UK Parliamentary Assembly and other key speakers such as Vice-President of the European Commission, Maroš Šefčovič, the EU’s lead negotiator on post-Brexit talks with the UK.
“The PPA is an important mechanism for dialogue and I urge the UK government to seize this and every opportunity to foster good relations with the EU and work together towards a constructive, positive future”, Mr Kelly added.
The fate of the Stormont Assembly, Mr Kelly said, hangs on whether the parties can agree to work together for the people who have put their trust in them: “I encourage all parties to come to the table with open minds and put the best interests of people and businesses on the ground to the fore. A lengthy stalemate won’t help anyone”.
The First EU-UK Parliamentary Partnership Assembly takes place in Brussels on 12-13 May 2022. Mr Kelly will join other speakers such as the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola; Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission; Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons; Lord McFall of Alcluith, Lord Speaker; Rt Hon Michael Ellis, Minister for the Cabinet Office, Government of the United Kingdom; and Kadri SIMSON, European Commissioner for Energy.
Note to the Editor:
The latest draft agenda for the First EU-UK Parliamentary Partnership Assembly is attached for your information.
The PPA is set up under Article 11 of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA). It is composed of 70 representatives from the UK and EU Parliaments.