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Dear members and friends of British Conservatives in Paris,
The rentrée has been a rather dispiriting one for those with an interest in either domestic or international politics. Both have been dominated for us by Brexit, while the negotiations themselves have dragged on, so far inconclusively.
As a consequence of this difficult situation, all MPs are grounded in Westminster. It has been impossible to entice them in the direction of Paris. However, our association, calling upon the resources of its members and connections, has managed to find solutions.
Firstly, as in the past, we have turned to French politicians to bring us a change of air. I am therefore delighted to announce a dinner with the Les Républicains mayoress of the 5e arrondissement, Florence Berthout, on Tuesday 4 December at 7.30pm. The ebullient Madame Berthout is a rising star in her party. As chair of the LR group on the Conseil de Paris, she has led a very effective opposition to the Socialist mayoress of Paris, Anne Hidalgo*, and may well be the next LR candidate for Paris in 2020.
Secondly, Alec Shelbrooke, MP for Elmet and Rothwell in West Yorkshire, has agreed to visit us when he next comes to Paris on official NATO business, which will be in February. We hope to be able to announce a date in good time.
In addition, Dominic Grieve, MP for Beaconsfield, President of the Franco-British Society and a noted campaigner for a second referendum on Brexit, has told us that he would like to come and see us at the earliest available opportunity, although he does not know when that might be. He may give us very little advanced notice, so watch this space!
Thirdly, we have our own internal association events lined up. There will be a Conservative Policy Forum meeting on Thursday 13 December to discuss the topic of ‘Disability and Inclusion’. Last year, we postponed the Christmas Party until January, making it a New Year party. The success of this decision has led us to repeat it this year. There will therefore be a New Year Party at lunchtime on Saturday 12 January 2019.
There are other forthcoming events which may be of interest. I shall be giving an interactive talk on Brexit at the École des Hautes Études internationales et politiques, in the 15th, this Thursday 15 November at 7pm. If you wish to attend, please let me know.
Richard Ashworth MEP will be speaking to the British European Movement France at a dinner on 23 November at the Petit Victor Hugo in the 16th. If you are interested in attending, please get in touch with Robin Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org
One of our members, Monique Riccardi-Cubitt, is organising a symposium on Mario Praz (1896-1982), a highly influential Italian writer and specialist in (among other things) English literature and French art. The event will take place at the Italian Institute in Paris on Friday 30 November. Praz taught at the Universities of Liverpool and Manchester. If you wish to attend all or part of the symposium, please contact Monique.
You will find links to our most recent appearances in the French media, most notably by our Vice-Chairman, Paul Thomson, and member Andrew Lyndon-Skeggs (who makes an argument for Brexit).
I look forward to seeing you again soon,
Chairman, British Conservatives in Paris
06 88 81 70 94
*See for example
PS The Liberal Party of Australia (the Australian sister to our own Party) has set up a French branch of the Australian Liberals Abroad Federation. If you know of any Australians resident in France who might wish to join, please invite them to contact their Vice-President, Mr Peter Hammond, at email@example.com
Dinner with speaker Richard Ashworth MEP at La Bastide Odéon on 23rd April, 2015
See photo(s) on our Facebook page (with thanks to BCiP member George Grosz)
Report by Peter Huggins on Trier visit, 11/13 April, 2014
A small group of BCiP members made a rewarding cultural and political visit to Trier from Friday 11th. April until Palm Sunday, 13th. April This was organised by Peter Huggins who knows Trier well and has contacts with the local CDU members.
On Friday afternoon, we visited the Porta Nigra, one of the most important Roman monuments North of the Alps and very mush the symbol of a city which was the Roman capital in the North and West It is remembered for Constantine the Great and his mother, St. Helena.
In the evening, we were invited to a CDU European election rally in Konz, an agreeable outlying suburb of Trier by Frau Simone Thiel, the dynamic MEP candidate for Trier and the region (Eifel/Mosel/Hunsrueck). She welcomed us warmly, introduced us to other local politicians and a visitor from a Luxembourg sister party, Guy Modert, who also came to give his support. The evening was a great success with discussion of the CDU programme in which we joined Christopher Chantrey notably sought support for votes for Britons living abroad. It was also fun, as witnessed by our photo with Frau Thiel It was pleasant to have Mosel wine served at a political meeting.
On Saturday we had a full programme of visits to Roman sights in Trier, the earliest German city in Germany. This included two major sites of thermal baths, the Roemerbruecke, an important early bridge which still has the original Roman piers and the Konstantin basilica., a huge structure partly re-built but to Roman specifications. We had a glance at Karl Marx’ birthplace and absorbed the atmosphere of the Hauptmarkt with all the oldest monuments in Germany – cathedral, market cross and chemist’s shop which was a 12th. Century monastic dispensary. We then relaxed on a Mosel boat trip.
On Saturday evening, we were invited to Sekt by Herr Artur Friedrich, a local CDU member and industrialist who produces fine ceramic tiles. After German Re-unification, he launched several factories in former East Germany, playing his role in the exciting but difficlult re-integration process.. We then had dinner with Frau Thiel which allowed us wide ranging discussions on European Parliament themes. She is a member of the Parliament secretariat and has a particular interest in working with British MEPs.
On Palm Sunday some of us attended the Solemn High Mass at the cathedral with very beautiful organ and choir music. One brave soul, Alex Carroll, ran a personal marathon round Trier and along the Mosel.
2018/19 Progamme of Events
Oct 4 - Conservatives Abroad Conference, London.
Dec 4 - Speaker dinner with Florence Berthout, Les Républicans mayoress of the 5ème arrondissement of Paris.
Dec 13 - Conservative Policy Forum (CPF) discussion on "Disability & Inclusion"
Jan 12 - New Year Champagne Party.
Follow Brexit developments with blogger Richard North on:
In planning - Launch of Coningsby Circle. (see the attached PDF)
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See photos here on our Facebook page from our speaker dinner with Richard Ashworth MEP on 23rd April, 2015 (with special thanks to BCiP member George Grosz) and our 4th December, 2015 dinner with Lord Balfe.
Report on Trier visit, 11/13 April, 2014
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