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Byrne publishes ‘Bridgetown Bill’ as Rishi Sunak ducks Paris Summit for a New Global Financing Pact


Liam Byrne MP today published the ‘Bridgetown Bill’ in the House of Commons to force UK ministers to publish robust plans to support a huge uplift in green and development finance for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable countries. The Bill comes as campaigners condemned Rishi Sunak’s decision to skip the 'Summit for a Global Financing Pact' conference in Paris in order to spend time at Rupert Murdoch’s annual party. The Paris Summit convened by President Macron brought together forty world leaders including twenty African leaders, the President of the EU and US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. The Summit is focused finding new solutions to solve multiple over-lapping crises including the rise in extreme poverty, growing levels of malnutrition, the escalating debt crisis and the need to raise trillions of dollars to finance the transition to a net zero economy. Centre-stage are ideas tabled by Barbados Prime Ministers Mia Motley, known as the Bridgetown Initiative and designed to help the international community mobilise trillions of dollar for poverty reduction and adaption to climate change. The Summit has already seen new World Bank President Ajay Banga set out proposals for the World Bank to introduce payment pauses on debts for countries afflicted by natural disasters, along with an expanded toolkit for crisis preparedness that will help governments build advance-emergency systems and a World Bank Group Private Sector Investment Lab that will help remove the barriers that prevent private investment in emerging markets. But rather than attend the Summit, its seems Rishi Sunak chose instead to attend to Rupert Murdoch’s annual party at Spencer House in London. Byrne, who is chair of the global Parliamentary Network on the World Bank and IMF, will present his Ten Minute Rule Bill to the House of Commons next Wednesday. The Bill would force the UK Government to:

  • Re-deploy the £3 billion+ which the UK receives back from the European Investment Bank as part of the Brexit deal into the World Bank - helping unlock further low cost lending to poorer nations.

  • Increase support for the African Development Bank to help unlock billions of concessional finance across Africa

  • Publish proposals to increase its on-lending of IMF Special Drawing Rights, which are redeployed by the IMF to some of the world’s poorest and most climate-vulnerable countries

Liam Byrne said: “At a time when hundreds of millions of people are facing drought, famine, rising levels of extreme poverty and a global debt crisis, we need Britain’s leaders urgently helping broker new solutions - not chilling out with media billionaires. “The UK is throwing away its once proud leadership of the fight against global poverty and is now lagging other richer nations. So our Bridgetown Bill is designed to force ministers to focus harder on the ideas tabled by Mia Motley as part of the Bridgetown Initiative - and use UK resources creatively not just to do our bit but restore UK leadership.’ Notes to editors. 1. A background briefing on the Bridgetown Agenda is here: https://www.parlnet.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/Memo-PN-Bridgetown-Agenda.pdf 2. The Global Parliamentary Network on the World Bank and IMF brings together 2,000 parliamentarians in 140 countries 3. Liam Byrne’s 10 Minute Rule motion reads as follows: GLOBAL CLIMATE AND DEVELOPMENT FINANCE: TEN MINUTE RULE MOTION Bill to require the Secretary of State to publish proposals for increasing the on-lending of UK Special Drawing Rights via the IMF, for transferring the capital returned to the UK by the European Investment Bank to the World Bank, and for increasing the UK’s support for the African Development Bank, for the purpose of reducing debt burdens and the cost of capital and contributing to the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

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