Launch of the Interparliamentary Forum
25 February 2022 (updated on 25 February 2022)
Lord Speaker praises parliamentarians from all four nations for demonstrating 'leadership and unity of purpose' at launch of the Interparliamentary Forum
The Lord Speaker has welcomed representatives of the UK and three devolved legislatures at the first meeting of the Interparliamentary Forum (IPF) at the Houses of Parliament in London today. The aim of the IPF is to facilitate dialogue and cooperation between the legislatures of the devolved nations and Westminster.
This first meeting of the forum follows positive discussions between the Lord Speaker, Lord McFall of Alcluith, and the Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Scottish Parliament and Welsh Senedd.
Members of the Scottish Parliament, Northern Ireland Assembly, House of Commons, House of Lords and the Senedd met today to agree priorities for their future work programme. A joint statement was signed at the end of the meeting, where the group agreed to focus on the following:
- The operation of international agreements including the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, the Withdrawal Agreement and the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol;
- The UK internal market including the UK Internal Market Act and Common Frameworks;
- The impact of the new constitutional arrangements on the legislative process including the use of secondary powers and the legislative consent process.
Neil O’Brien MP, Minister for Levelling Up, The Union and Constitution joined the forum to discuss the current state of play of intergovernmental relations.
The Lord Speaker, Lord McFall of Alcluith said:
'My engagement with the Speakers and Presiding officers from devolved Parliaments has been hugely positive and I have been impressed by their commitment and desire to work together on an equal footing in the best interest of our citizens.
'The IPF should be an important forum to support such work. By meeting together today, the parliamentarians have shown leadership and unity of purpose, and I look forward to supporting them in their future work.'
Clare Adamson MSP, Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Constitution, Europe, External Affairs and Culture Committee added:
'We were pleased to represent the Scottish Parliament at today’s meeting.
'Following our recent report into the UK internal market, we were able to highlight some of the issues our Committee is keen to address on an interparliamentary basis.
'We believe that resolving the tension in the balance of relations between the Executive and the Legislature should be an immediate priority for the inter-parliamentary forum.
'So we are encouraged our counterparts have agreed the need to improve scrutiny by seeking a consistent approach to improving transparency and accountability at Ministerial and inter-governmental levels.'
- Sinéad McLaughlin MLA, Chair, Committee for the Executive Office, Northern Ireland Assembly
- Dr Caoimhe Archibald MLA, Chair, Committee for the Economy, Northern Ireland Assembly
- Huw Irranca-Davies MS, Chair, Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee, Senedd Cymru
- Clare Adamson MSP, Convener, Constitution, Europe, External Affairs and Culture Committee, Scottish Parliament
- Donald Cameron MSP, Deputy Convener, Constitution, Europe, External Affairs and Culture Committee, Scottish Parliament
- Sir Bernard Jenkin MP, Chair, Liaison Committee, House of Commons
- Lloyd-Russell-Moyle MP, Member, Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, House of Commons
- Baroness Drake, Chair, Constitution Committee, House of Lords
- Lord Kinnoull, Chair, European Affairs Committee, House of Lords