MIL OSI – Source: New Zealand Parliament – Release/Statement
Headline: New Zealand MPs engage in European talks
Office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives
For release: Tuesday 21 March 2017
A cross-party delegation is heading to Europe this week for the 20th Inter-parliamentary Meeting with the European Parliament and talks with Belgian parliamentarians. The delegation will then travel to the United Kingdom, for meetings with parliamentarians.
Hon Annette King MP (Labour) will lead the delegation, comprising Melissa Lee MP (National) and Tracey Martin MP (NZ First).
New Zealand’s Speaker, Rt Hon David Carter, said that “it is an important time for our MPs to be meeting with their counterparts as the coming months will see significant political developments in Europe, including elections in France and Germany and the start of the formal Brexit process.”
Mr Speaker added “the delegation will have an excellent opportunity to engage with a wide range of parliamentarians in Brussels and London from different parties, and to exchange views on major developments in Europe. Their visit will also be an opportunity to reinforce the excellent historical, cultural, economic and people-to-people links that exist between by New Zealand and Europe, and to underline New Zealand’s commitment to strengthening those links.”
The meeting with the European Parliament will cover trade, environment, ethnic communities and diversity, education and science, data protection and migration.
Discussions with British parliamentarians and Alok Sharma, Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific, will centre on Brexit, the Commonwealth and New Zealand interests.
The delegation will also meet with the President of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives, and will visit First World War sites in Flanders to pay tribute to New Zealand soldiers who fought and died there – including in the battles of Messines and Passchendaele, whose centenaries will be marked later in 2017.
The visit takes place 22-29 March 2017.
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Belgium: European Parliament: 20th Inter-Parliamentary Meeting and programme; Belgian Federal Parliament with meetings with the Presidents of the Chamber of Representatives and the Senate; and a West Flanders programme that includes visits to Tyne Cot, St Quentin Cemetery (Messines) and Ieper – Menin Gate. Meeting with the New Zealand Embassy to the EU and meetings with informal Friends of New Zealand and Think Tanks.
United Kingdom: Houses of Parliament, London UK: Meetings include with the Committee on Exiting the EU, the All-Party Parliamentary Groups on Australia and New Zealand and on UK-EU Relations, the House of Lords External Relations, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK, the International Trade Committee and attendance at UK Prime Minister’s Question Time on 29 March. Meeting with the New Zealand High Commission and a meeting with Minister Alok Sharma.