'British week' kicks off in Riga

A six day festival of all things British began in Riga Monday with the launch of "British Week" organized by the British Chamber of Commerce In Latvia (BCCL).

"Why British Week? Why not?" said BCCL chairman Cameron Greaves at a press conference in Riga on Monday.

"The British aren't always as good as other nations at blowing their own trumpet, but this week we have got the trumpets out," Greaves told journalists.

Events will include a presentation by film director and producer Martin Herring on 5 November, a performance of "Bull" by playwright Mike Bartlett and various discussions on Britain's future role in - or out of - the European Union including a lecture by Iain Frew, head of the British diplomatic mission in Riga as well as a promotion of British food by various restaurants around the city.

"The relations between the UK and Latvia today are deeper than ever," Frew told journalists at the launch event, "we want to stimulate this exchange between people. There are people who are doing business every week between the UK and Latvia and it's part of the importance of this event to celebrate what happens day in and day out."

Frew batted away questions on whether the UK would remain a member of the European Union in the medium term, saying: "The UK is a full member of the EU right now and for the forseeable future that's continuing. Of course there is a debate in the UK about this at the moment over the term of membership and possible changes in the future but we're here now."

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