The Modern Commonwealth: Opportunities and Challenges

Part of International Women’S Day – in the House of Commons at 4:57 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) 4:57 pm, 7th March 2019

I thank everybody who has spoken in this debate. One thing that strikes me is how different each contribution has been, which perhaps represents the diversity within the Commonwealth. I neglected to place an advert for the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association challenge fund for Members who want to do something that is not in its programme. Members can apply to its exec and we will try to fund and support specific activities that they want to pursue.

Next week is not Brexit week—it is Commonwealth Day and Commonwealth Week. If I can mention one speech, it is that of my right hon. Friend Sir Hugo Swire, who said that this is not about a day or a week; we should be debating the Commonwealth day in, day out. It is a third of the world. They are our partners, they are around us, and in some cases we are sat upon their gifts. I thank the Backbench Business Committee for granting this debate and, again, Members who have spoken.

Question put and agreed to.


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