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Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:59 pm on 28th October 2019.

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Photo of Julian Smith Julian Smith The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland 11:59 pm, 28th October 2019

I will be updating the House in respect of the first point. Welfare is a devolved matter, but I realise that it is important to Northern Ireland, and over the coming days and weeks I will be working with, and talking to, the Northern Ireland civil service.

My hon. Friend Emma Little Pengelly raised a range of issues, including education and the Bengoa reforms. If we put more money into the health service, we will have to drive those reforms forward. She also talked about business. I met members of the Orange Order on Saturday, and met representatives of other business organisations today. I will do whatever I can to ensure that Northern Ireland—as well as Yorkshire!—continues to be the best place in Britain in which to do business. Northern Ireland is now covered with city deals. We must drive those through as well as looking at town deals, which were also raised. As for woodlands, I am encouraged by that proposal, and look forward to working with my DUP colleague. I hope that there will not be too many trees in the House over the coming days, but we hope to add more to Northern Ireland in due course.

Question put and agreed to.


That this House
has considered the Report pursuant to section 3(5) of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019, which was laid before this House on Wednesday 23 October.