20 Years of Devolution

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:49 pm on 11th July 2019.

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Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office 2:49 pm, 11th July 2019

I am clear that I am a Unionist and that I want to see the Union remain together, and that poll is absolute rubbish.

Employment in Northern Ireland is at near record levels, rising to a record high of 70% at the end of last year. Northern Ireland remains the most popular location for foreign direct investment outside London and the south-east, and exports are up 11% since 2011. We will continue to build opportunities for Northern Ireland’s economy, even in the absence of the devolved tier of government. In March, we agreed the heads of terms for the Belfast city region deal, which will see the UK Government invest £350 million in the Belfast region over the next 15 years to boost investment and productivity, and we are making progress on a Derry/Londonderry and Strabane city region deal.

Devolution means that decisions can be made at the most appropriate level of government, and it should mean that. People and businesses expect those different levels to work together to deliver for them.