British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly

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British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly
PurposeGovernmental relations (deliberative body)
London and Dublin
OriginsGood Friday Agreement
Region served
British Isles
Membership (1999)
 United Kingdom
Northern Ireland
 Republic of Ireland
 Isle of Man
Official language
English, Scottish Gaelic, Scots ,Irish, Welsh
Karen Bradley
Brendan Smith
Martyn Atkins
Regina Boyle
25 members from the UK Parliament
25 members from the Oireachtas
5 members from the Scottish Parliament
5 members from the Welsh Parliament
5 members from the Northern Ireland Assembly
1 member from the High Court of Tynwald
1 member of the States of Guernsey
1 member from the States of Jersey

The British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly (BIPA, Irish: Tionól Pharlaiminteach na Breataine agus na hÉireann) is a deliberative body consisting of members elected to those national legislative bodies found within Ireland and the United Kingdom, namely the parliaments of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the British crown dependencies.[1] Its purpose is to foster common understanding between elected representatives from these jurisdictions.

The assembly consists of 25 members each from the Parliament of the United Kingdom and the Oireachtas (the Irish parliament) as well as five representatives each from the Scottish Parliament, the Senedd (Welsh Parliament), and the Northern Ireland Assembly, and one each from the States of Jersey, the States of Guernsey and the Tynwald of the Isle of Man.[1]


The assembly was established in 1990 as the British–Irish Inter-Parliamentary Body (BIIPB). [2] It initially consisted of 25 members of the Parliament of the United Kingdom and 25 members of the Oireachtas, the Irish parliament.

In 1998, the British–Irish Council was established under Strand 3 of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. The Council brings together ministers from the British and Irish governments, from the devolved governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and from the crown dependencies. However Strand 3 stated that, as well as inter-governmental links, "the elected institutions of the members will be encouraged to develop inter-parliamentary links, perhaps building on the BritishIrish Inter-Parliamentary Body".[3] In 2001, the assembly was enlarged to include representatives of legislative bodies in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey.

The fortieth plenary conference of the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly met in Cavan, Ireland on 22–23 February 2010. On 22 November 2010, the assembly concluded its 41st plenary in Douglas, on the Isle of Man. This was the first plenary of the Assembly to be held in a crown dependency.[4]

Irish parliamentarian Frank Feighan has chaired the assembly.[5]

In October 2018, British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Karen Bradley spoke to the assembly.[6]

In October 2019, the British Minister of State for Europe and the Americas, Christopher Pincher spoke to the assembly about the importance of UK-Ireland co-operation after Brexit.[7]

The 62nd meeting in October 2022 brought Lawmakers from Ireland, the British legislatures, the Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories to discuss matters of mutual interest, debate trade and publish reports on a range of issues including post Brexit trade and vaccine rollout.[8]

The 64th meeting in May 2023 was the first hosted by a Crown Dependency, with delegates travelling to Jersey.[9]


Member name Symbols Parliament Membership Membership status Members Represented since
Arms Flag
United Kingdom United Kingdom United Kingdom Parliament of the United Kingdom full sovereign state 25 each 1990
Republic of Ireland Ireland Republic of Ireland Oireachtas
Scotland Scotland Scotland Scottish Parliament devolved government 5 each 1999
Wales Wales Wales Welsh Parliament
Northern Ireland None None Northern Ireland Assembly
Jersey Jersey Jersey States Assembly crown dependency 1 each
Isle of Man Isle of Man Isle of Man Tynwald
Guernsey Guernsey Guernsey States of Guernsey


The British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly holds two plenary sessions a year. Its four committees (dealing with sovereign matters between the Irish and Westminster parliaments, European affairs, economic matters, the environment and social matters) meet several times a year. They produce reports which are submitted for comment to governments, and which are discussed in plenary. A steering committee organises the work of the plenary and deals with the assembly's institutional matters.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Members" Archived 16 November 2021 at the Wayback Machine, British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly, retrieved 27 November 2018
  2. ^ "About the Assembly" Archived 15 May 2021 at the Wayback Machine, British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly, retrieved 27 November 2018
  3. ^ "The Belfast Agreement" Archived 2 October 2021 at the Wayback Machine, Gov.UK, published 10 April 1998, retrieved 29 November 2018
  4. ^ Report "Communiqué from 41st Plenary of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly" Archived 14 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine, British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly, 22 November 2010, retrieved 27 November 2018
  5. ^ Deering, Paul; Mullaney, Cathal (25 April 2020). "Differing views from TDs on new Government". The Sligo Champion. Archived from the original on 14 August 2020. Retrieved 23 November 2020 – via Irish Independent.
  6. ^ "Secretary of State's speech to British Irish Parliamentary Assembly". GOV.UK. 22 October 2018. Archived from the original on 21 January 2022. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  7. ^ "British Irish Parliamentary Assembly, October 2019: Minister For Europe's speech". GOV.UK. 21 October 2019. Archived from the original on 25 November 2021. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  9. ^ "Jersey hosts its first meeting of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly". 15 May 2023.
  10. ^ "ABOUT THE ASSEMBLY". Retrieved 18 May 2023.

External links[edit]