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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 Greg Clark Greg Clark Conservative, Tunbridge Wells 11:25 am, 16th January 2020

I warmly congratulate my right hon. Friend on his personal achievement, which involved reserves of patience, diplomacy tenacity, and, I dare say, menace—qualities that, clearly, the Conservative Whips Office in the previous Parliament was the ideal breeding ground for. One of the frustrations of the past few years is that the absence of an economy Minister in Northern Ireland meant that the development of the industrial strategy did not have that Executive leadership. Opposition Members there contributed magnificently in certain particular cases, but will he emphasise to the new economy Minister that Northern Ireland should take advantage of the big opportunities that are available to the whole of the UK, particularly the opportunities that exist for the manufacturing and industrial traditions of Northern Ireland?