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Northern Ireland Executive Formation

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:25 am on 16th January 2020.

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Photo of Theresa May Theresa May Conservative, Maidenhead 11:25 am, 16th January 2020

I congratulate my right hon. Friend on his achievement in ensuring that the Executive can be reformed. It has been tantalisingly close on a number of occasions over the past couple of years, but he has brought it to fruition.

I also commend the Northern Ireland parties for coming together in the interest of the people of Northern Ireland, and I welcome the representatives from the Social Democratic and Labour party and the Alliance party to the House, alongside the representatives from the Democratic Unionist party.

I congratulate my right hon. Friends the Members for Old Bexley and Sidcup (James Brokenshire) and for Staffordshire Moorlands (Karen Bradley) on their commendable work over the years.

The Government are committed to having no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and the annex to this plan says that the UK Government will

“legislate to guarantee unfettered access for Northern Ireland’s businesses to the whole of the UK internal market”.

It does so on the assumption that that unfettered access is as unfettered as it is today. What are the implications of these commitments for the future trade deal between the UK and the European Union?