Flemish minister-president visits UK to strengthen post-Brexit ties
Flemish minister-president Jan Jambon arrived in London on Monday for a two-day visit. The aim of the trip is to strengthen ties between Flanders and the UK, initially in the cultural and digital fields.
In its coalition agreement for 2019-2024, the government of Flanders explicitly set its sights on the UK. Even after Brexit, the UK, including the constituent states of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, remains an important region for Flanders.
As Brexit has removed many channels for mutual contact within an EU framework, Flanders wants to set up additional bilateral consultation and agreement frameworks.
Jambon will meet Lucy Frazer, the British secretary of state for Culture, Media and Sport, on Monday. The aim is to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the field of culture. Other possibilities for closer cooperation will also be explored.
Memorandum of Understanding
On Monday evening, Jambon will travel to Wales for a meeting with first minister Mark Drakeford on Tuesday. This meeting should be the starting point for a framework of agreements to move towards structured consultation with Wales.
Jambon and Drakeford will sign a memorandum of understanding detailing enhanced cooperation in the cultural and digital fields. It will be accompanied by an action plan setting out more concrete objectives.
The government of Flanders hopes this cooperation will also inspire the governments of Scotland and Northern Ireland. Discussions have already started with the Northern Ireland executive and exploratory talks are underway with Scotland.
#FlandersNewsService | Flemish minister-president Jan Jambon on the London Underground on the first day of a diplomatic mission to the United Kingdom, 5 June 2023 © BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM