Fabian heads All Party Group to Iceland
On Thursday 8th October Fabian travelled to Iceland as Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Iceland which works to maintain a strong relationship between the national Parliaments in Reykjavik and London. The Prime Minister, David Cameron, is scheduled to visit Iceland later this month in order to attend the Northern Future Forum which promotes economic growth and improved public services.
Iceland was a country that in 2008 ran into extreme economic difficulties when the country’s banks collapsed. This plunged it into extreme recession with consequent job losses and considerable political unrest. Since that time Iceland has undertaken a progressive and steady recovery and has greatly improved its income through tourism. In 2016 the country is scheduled to fully repay the creditors of all the banks which collapsed. As such it is a model for other governments needing to address substantial and rising budget deficits.
As Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Iceland, Fabian had a private meeting with the Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson at which they discussed the forthcoming visit of the David Cameron, the first British Prime Minister to visit Iceland since Winston Churchill. Fabian hopes that his visit will help pave the way for David Cameron’s visit at the end of October.
In addition to meeting the Prime Minister of Iceland, Fabian met the Speaker of the Icelandic Parliament, Einar Guofinnsson and the Chair of the Icelandic Foreign Affairs Committee Hanna Kristjansdottir. The Icelandic Althing has good claims to be the ‘oldest extant parliamentary institution in the world’ (Wikipedia).
Fabian feels that as a country close to the UK, Iceland is an important strategic ally as a NATO member, economically and politically. He feels strongly that good relations between the two countries is vital and will continue to work hard for the UK - Iceland trade, political, economical and cultural links.