- Posted by: Valerie Vaz MP
- Category: News
The All Party Parliament Group on Portugal met the President of the Assembly of the Republic of Portugal, Augusto Santos Silva on Wednesday, 12 July 2023. Other members of the delegation were His Excellency Nuno Brito Portuguese Ambassador to the UK; Sérgio Sousa Pinto MP President of the Parliamentary Foreign
Affairs Committee, and President of the Parliamentary Friendship Group with the United Kingdom (Socialist Party); Joaquim Miranda Sarmento MP Member of Parliament (Social Democratic Party, leader of the bench) João Dias MP Member of Parliament, Isabel Pires Member of Parliament (Left Bloc).
President Santos Silva is a hugely experienced Socialist Party MP and former Foreign Minister. Born in Porto in 1956, both his parents were nurses. After graduating in history, he became a secondary school teacher and then a professor of economics at Porto University. In the early 1990s, he gained a PhD in sociology, focusing on popular culture. Santos Silva has been an MP since 2002, first for Porto and subsequently representing Portuguese expatriates outside Europe. He has served in many ministerial roles, including three times before becoming an MP: State Secretary (junior minister) of Educational Administration (1999-2000); Minister of Education (2000-2001); Minister of Culture (2001-2002); Minister for Parliamentary Affairs (2005-2009); and Defence Minister (2009-2011). He was Foreign Minister from 2015 until his appointment as Assembly President in 2022. As Foreign Minister, Santos Silva was one of the most influential and heavyweight members of Antonio Costa’s first two governments (2015-2022). He sees Brexit in principally geostrategic terms, fearing the EU will become more continental. He firmly believes Portugal should maintain its Atlanticist outlook, and that the post-Brexit relationship with the UK should be strong and close.
Meeting delegations such as with Portugal’s President of the Assembly and Members of Parliament enable us to discuss issues that are important to both countries.