MP selected to represent Parliament in US Congress

Carmarthenshire MP Jonathan Edwards has been selected to represent Parliament on a visit to the United States Congress this summer.

In a visit sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, eight Members of Parliament from all political parties will undergo a week of intense study on how the U.S. political system operates; its federal, state and local level government legislature and the U.S. economic system.  The visit will also concentrate on trade policy, regional economic development, defence and foreign affairs.

As part of the visit Mr Edwards will spend 3 days shadowing the work of Congressman Charlie Dent – a Republican representative of Pennsylvania.

Jonathan Edwards, the only Member of Parliament from Wales to be selected for the visit, said he was particularly keen on learning more on America’s various levels of government and how, in the backdrop of a Scottish referendum and greater power for the National Assembly, the U.S federal system of legislation works and what lessons could be applied to the evolution of the British State.

Jonathan Edwards MP said:

“It’s a huge honour to be selected to represent Parliament on this exchange visit. The U.S. has a fascinating political system which I believe could hold very valuable lessons when considering the evolution of the British State.

“With a referendum on Scottish independence next year, and the Silk Commission looking at further powers for the National Assembly, I’m particularly keen on gaining a greater understanding of the various levels of U.S. legislatures and what this would look like in the context on the British State.

“As a Treasury spokesman, I am eager to examine both state and local initiatives for regional economic development and again apply this in a Welsh context. The United States is far better at developing local economies and at localising the banking system to support local businesses.

“It will certainly be an experience to be shadowing a Republican Congressman that comes from the opposite side of the political spectrum to me. I am grateful to Congressman Dent for hosting me.

“I’m fortunate to be the only Welsh MP selected to represent Parliament on this visit.  It is an opportunity that I will relish and put the Welsh interest at the forefront of all discussions.  Although I think I should be more grateful that my wife has allowed me a week away during my summer recess from Westminster!”


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