A delegation of British MPs are visiting Uruguay to attend the ninth plenary session of the Euro-Lat American Assembly which is taking place this week at the country´s Parliament house. The group includes Nigel Evans, Mark Menzies and Graham Stuart from the ruling Conservative party and Lindsay Hoyle and Lord Howarth of Newport from opposition Labour.
The lawmakers' busy agenda includes contacts with government, parliamentary committees, private sector, a visit to the annual Prado agriculture show and farms.
The president of Uruguay´s Lower House Gerardo Amarilla who received his British peers at his office said that the delegation was interested in increasing trade, cooperation and parliament to parliament links.
It has been an interesting meeting. They are exploring possibilities of closer links with Uruguay, both at commerce and parliamentary level. They underlined the long standing historic links of England with Uruguay, and also at the Inter Parliamentary Union, said Amarilla
The delegation referred to the consequences of Brexit and the need to explore further trade opportunities and admitted that Uruguay could be an excellent bridge, to boost trade links between UK and Mercosur
UK lawmakers also were grateful for Uruguay´s humanitarian stance during the Falklands' 1982 conflict, and as a naval outpost for Britain during last century´s two major world conflicts.
While in Parliament House the delegation also met with acting Senate president, Lucia Topolansky, who is currently replacing Raul Sendic, acting president while Tabare Vazquez is in New York for the UN General Assembly.
During the meeting the UK lawmakers recalled ex president Jose Batlle y Ordóñez who a century ago set the foundations of modern Uruguay, a leading country in political, governance, social, labor and cultural reform. Uruguay has always been in the advance of social legislation, they underlined.
Senator Topolansky invited the lawmakers to tour the Fray Bentos Anglo Frigorifico, abattoir, started by the British in the mid 1800, recently declared Humanity World Heritage. It was the first place in Uruguay to enjoy electricity and to manufacture the still world famous Fray Bentos Corned Beef.
Senator Topolansky will be opening the EuroLat Assembly Ninth Plenary Session. Other speakers include Antonio Tajani (IT), European parliament vice president; Parlasur president Jorge Taiana; Ramon Jauregui (SP), head of the delegation to the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly and Co-President Roberto Requião (Brazil). The event will be closed by interim Uruguayan President Senator Raúl Sendic