The Modern Commonwealth: Opportunities and Challenges

Part of International Women’S Day – in the House of Commons at 3:39 pm on 7th March 2019.

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Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge Chair, High Speed Rail (West Midlands - Crewe) Bill Select Committee (Commons) 3:39 pm, 7th March 2019

I beg to move,

That this House
has considered opportunities and challenges facing the modern Commonwealth in its 70th year.

It is that time of year when we await the riot of colour of 53 flags representing the Commonwealth opposite Parliament. It is for that reason—the celebration of Commonwealth Day—that I am here today. I wear my own riot of colour: the rather disgusting combination of colours on my tie is that of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK branch, which is not to be confused with the international branch, chaired by Emilia Lifaka, who will be here next week.

I have chaired the UK branch since the rather unfortunate general election in 2017 and very much enjoyed the task. I see in the Chamber my hon. Friends—I think I can use that term—Dr Blackman-Woods and David Hanson. Without their tireless work, the CPA as it is now would not be in existence.