UK-EU Parliamentary Partnership Assembly Delegation to Brussels

Valerie with co-chairs of the PPA, Nathalie Loiseau MEP and Sir Oliver Heald QC MP

In January 2022 I was appointed to the UK-EU Parliamentary Partnership Assembly (PPA), a new forum to enable members of both Parliaments to exchange views on the relationship between the UK and the EU. On Thursday 12 May and Friday 13 May 2022, I participated in the first meeting of the PPA in Brussels, Belgium.

The Assembly was established to allow members of the UK and EU Parliaments to discuss and scrutinise the implementation of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA). The TCA sets out the relationship between the UK and the European Union after the UK’s departure, covering issues including trade, security, state subsidies for businesses, fishing, and shared scientific programmes. The Assembly is also able to request evidence on the relationship between the UK and the EU, and make recommendations on the implementation of the TCA.

The operation of the TCA is supervised by a UK-EU Partnership Council. This is chaired by the UK Foreign Secretary, and EU Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič. If either side encounters problems with the implementation of the TCA, the issue can be referred to the Council. Decisions of the Partnership must be taken by mutual consent and are binding on both two parties. Our meeting on Thursday concerned the state of play within the Partnership Council, with an exchange of views from Vice-President Šefčovič and the Minister for the Cabinet Office Rt Hon Michael Ellis QC MP. 

Later in the meeting, UK-EU co-operation was considered with regard to the war in Ukraine. The Armed Forces Minister and the European External Action Service’s Secretary-General gave their views. Co-Chairs of the PPA Nathalie Loiseau MEP and Sir Oliver Heald QC MP released a statement on behalf of the PPA condemning the Russian attack in the strongest possible terms and expressing our ongoing solidarity with the people and government of Ukraine.

On Friday we discussed strengthening co-operation between the UK and the EU on energy, especially given the consequences of high energy prices. We considered the effect of Withdrawal Agreement on the work of the Partnership Council.

A report will now be produced following up on our first set of meetings. The next PPA meeting will be held in the autumn, in London.