In February, International Policy Group successfully organised the long-awaited official visit of the British All-Party Parliamentary Group to Spain.
It’s been ten years now since iPg became the technical secretariat supporting the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Spain, a committee of members of the UK Parliament who regularly visits Spain with the aim of strengthening the relationship between the two countries.
Their visit was the first which has taken place after the UK’s departure from the European Union. For this, it was a particularly important visit.
The delegation was led by Sir Christopher Bryant MP, the group’s chair, and included members from across the political spectrum.
Mutual interests and goals
One of the primary objectives of the visit was to discuss the future of the UK-Spain relationship post-Brexit.
The visit included meetings with the British Ambassador to Spain, members of the Parliamentary Spanish Foreign Affairs Committee, the Confederation of Employers and Industries of Spain (CEOE), and a visit to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The two countries have many mutual interests: according to figures from Spain’s Inclusion, Social Security and Migration Ministry, in 2021 there were 407,628 UK nationals registered in Spain and 240,934 Spanish nationals resident in the UK.
Spain was the UK’s ninth largest trading partner in the four quarters to the end of Q3 2022, accounting for 3.2% of total UK trade. In 2019, Spanish investment in the UK totalled € 23.8 billion, making Spain the fourth-largest source of foreign direct investment in the UK.
During their meetings, the British parliamentarians discussed issues such as residents’ rights, trade, security, and cooperation on issues such as climate change and counterterrorism.
A valuable opportunity
In a statement following the visit, Lord Brennan said, “we are delighted to have the opportunity to meet with our Spanish counterparts. Our visit highlighted the importance of maintaining strong ties between our two countries, both in terms of residents rights, international cooperation and trade, and iPg did a wonderful job.”
The visit was widely seen as a positive step and provided an opportunity for British parliamentarians to deepen their understanding of Spanish policy, and further enhance the relationship between the two countries.