All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) are unofficial, cross-party organisations that do not hold official status in the British Parliament. Although many prefer to include people and organisations from outside of Parliament in their administration and operations, they are still managed by and for Members of the Commons and Lords. They have greater power than they may appear to have since the recommendations and reports that APPGs publish after their investigations frequently affect government policy.
APPGs were established to serve a wide range of objectives by bringing together diverse stakeholders. They offer lawmakers an invaluable chance to interact with people and organisations outside of Parliament who are interested in the group’s topic. As a result, they can be highly responsive to proposals from organisations, and they might offer a venue for thoughtful debate and analysis.
Formerly the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Islamic Finance, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Islamic and Ethical Finance was reconstituted in February 2023. The All–Party Parliamentary Group on Islamic Finance was first registered in 2016 ‘to give the Islamic finance industry a voice in parliament; to address issues as they arise such as Sukuk issuances, inclusivity, regulation, and taxation whilst positioning the UK as the European hub of Islamic financial services, and also to play a wider role in promoting ethical finance’. With The diversity in political affiliations of APPGs reflects that members put their interests in a particular policy area above their political affiliations and views.
There are ways for the public to engage with the APPGs, such as to respond to Calls for Evidence on particular topics or attend events, including Town Hall meetings. The APPGIEF has issued a Call for Evidence on “Financial Inclusion of Muslims in the UK”. It is an opportunity to investigate strategies to advance fairness, customised goods, and equitable access in the financial industry in order to expand the UK financial market. By closing the financial inclusion gap, the APPGIEF hopes to improve the financial environment and offer benefits to everybody by supporting the economic empowerment and social well-being of Muslims in the UK. This would provide an opportunity to influence policy change in UK.
By promoting Islamic finance, the APPG supports economic inclusion for the UK’s 3 million Muslims and develops Britain as a global Islamic finance hub. This would not only empower Muslims, but also lower economic inequality. A survey revealed that some Muslim students are unable to attend university due to a lack of Shariah-compliant student financing options. The availability of Islamic financial products leads to transparency and real economic activities because investors are aware of where their monies are invested and can therefore drive change.
You can contribute to the ongoing research by the APPGIEF by responding to the Call for Evidence here.