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New Zealand MPs engage in European talks

Office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives

For release: Tuesday 21 March 2017

New Zealand MPs engage in European talks

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.

ENDS


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