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New Decade, New Approach Deal

Northern Ireland – in the House of Commons on 24th June 2020.

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Photo of Jerome Mayhew Jerome Mayhew Conservative, Broadland

What progress his Department has made on the implementation of the “New Decade, New Approach” deal.

Photo of Robin Walker Robin Walker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office

The Government, despite the challenges of the pandemic, have continued to progress work where possible to implement our commitments. These include helping to end the nurses’ pay dispute, launching and progressing the recruitment process for a veterans’ commissioner, releasing £553 million of funding out of the £2 billion made available to progress implementation, and making changes to immigration rules. We will also be restarting the process with the Executive for organising a joint board that will provide quarterly review of UK Government funding provided under the deal.

Photo of Jerome Mayhew Jerome Mayhew Conservative, Broadland

Now that covid and our response to it is thankfully less all-consuming, does my hon. Friend agree that now is the time to see some real progress from the Northern Ireland Executive?

Photo of Robin Walker Robin Walker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office

Absolutely. I agree with my hon. Friend, but we should recognise the manner in which the Executive have worked collaboratively to tackle the immediate crisis, including the way in which the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister have demonstrated leadership and the ability to put their differences aside, working together to protect the public.

The Government and the Northern Ireland Executive have set out our complete commitment to ensuring that the “New Decade, New Approach” deal is implemented in full. As the Secretary of State said earlier, one aspect we would welcome rapid progress on is the independent fiscal council.