At the Select Committee on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs this morning, the Environment Secretary made it clear that the plus-plus-plus in a Canada plus-plus-plus agreement ought to include agri-foods, which is obviously really important to Northern Ireland. What steps is the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland taking to try to ensure that that is included in any future deal?
I agree with what the hon. Lady has said: agriculture is a key part of the economy within Northern Ireland. It is something that we highlighted very firmly in our August paper and will want to take forward in the phase 2 negotiations.
In assessing the evidence around a potential trade deal of this nature, did the Secretary of State conclude, as I have, that for decades we have successfully operated the common travel area between ourselves and Ireland and we will be able to do so under a similar deal, and that any hard border in Ireland will be the responsibility of Dublin and Brussels, not London and Belfast?
We are pleased that the joint principles on the continuation of the common travel area after the UK leaves were very firmly highlighted in the joint report. I believe that there is that joint endeavour, and that is what we have been pursuing.
On the Canada-EU trade deal, Bombardier in my constituency is a company that greatly benefits from that trading relationship. Will the Secretary of State not only continue his support for Bombardier, but ensure that any future trade agreements do nothing that will injure such an important part of our local economy?
I agree with the hon. Gentleman’s comments about Bombardier and commend his work to highlight this important issue. Clearly the protection of the Northern Ireland economy and jobs will remain a focus of our attention.