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MPs and Peers visit Brussels for third UK-EU Parliamentary Partnership Assembly

6 July 2023

Co-Chairs of the PPA shaking hands in front of UK and EU flags

This week MPs and Peers from the UK delegation of the Parliamentary Partnership Assembly (PPA) headed to Brussels for meetings with their counterparts at the European Parliament.

Established under the terms of the UK-EU Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TCA), the PPA acts as a forum for the UK Parliament and the European Parliament to exchange views on their partnership. The inaugural session of the PPA took place in Brussels back in May 2022, with the second session being held here in Westminster last November. The PPA meets twice a year, once in London, and once in either Brussels or Strasbourg.

Monday and Tuesday (3-4 July) saw 35 members from the UK Parliament (21 MPs and 14 Peers) join MEPs, government ministers and EU commissioners to build on areas of strength such as support for Ukraine, the Trade and Co-operation Agreement and coordinated approaches to China. The visit also offered the chance for parliamentarians to tackle shared challenges and opportunities, through debates and break out sessions.

At this session both the UK and EU delegations attended an exchange of views between the Foreign Secretary, Rt Hon James Cleverly MP, and the Vice-President of the European Commission, Mr Maroš Šefčovič. Other prominent speakers included the President of the European Parliament, Ms Roberta Metsola and Lord Johnson of Lainston, Minister of State, Department for Business and Trade.

The Co-Chairs of the PPA, Sir Oliver Heald KC MP and Ms Nathalie Loiseau MEP said:

"The EU - United Kingdom Parliamentary Partnership Assembly (PPA) held its third meeting in Brussels on 3-4 July 2023 under the joint chairmanship of Ms Nathalie Loiseau (Renew, France) and Sir Oliver Heald (Conservative Party, House of Commons).

We, the Co-Chairs, would like to thank European Parliament's President Metsola for her kind address and her recognition of the work and the important role of this Assembly. 
During the first session, members had the opportunity to exchange views with the Co-Chairs of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement Partnership Council and the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee, European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic, and the United Kingdom Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, the Rt Hon James Cleverly MP.

The Assembly also discussed the future of foreign and security policy, including in the framework of the European Political Community, with the Rt Hon Lord Mandelson and Ms Angelina Eichhorst, Managing Director for Europe, European External Action Service.
In order to facilitate informal discussions amongst members, the Assembly held three break outgroups on the following issues:

• Mobility of persons
• Climate and energy
• Twinning and civil society cooperation

The key points raised in these discussions have been compiled in a document, noting that these points do not reflect the position of the Assembly as a whole. These points will be shared with the Partnership Council and the relevant committees in each Parliament.

During the second session, members exchanged views on the common effort to support Ukraine and on sanctions with Mr David O'Sullivan, International Special Envoy for the Implementation of EU Sanctions and Ms Catriona Mace, Foreign and Development Policy Director, UK Mission to the European Union. They adopted a recommendation to the Partnership Council on this area. The PPA calls on the EU and the UK to continue to work closely together, and with the international community, in support to Ukraine, and to maintain a strong unity in ensuring the effective implementation of the sanctions. It requests the EU and the UK to report in writing to the PPA in advance of its next meeting as to how the parties have continued cooperating in support of Ukraine and its people.

Finally, members discussed cooperation on trade and industrial policy, including the response to the US Inflation Reduction Act, with Lord Johnson, Minister for Investment at the Department for Business and Trade, and Mr Richard Szostak, Director for Western European Partners, at the European Commission.

We look forward to continuing our constructive and open dialogue during our fourth meeting, which will take place in London on 4-5 December 2023."

Image: Co-Chairs of the PPA, Sir Oliver Heald KC MP and Ms Nathalie Loiseau MEP © European Union 2023 - Source : EP