Cross-border Transfer of Jobs

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

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Photo of Alistair Carmichael Alistair Carmichael Liberal Democrat Chief Whip, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

What discussions he has had with representatives of businesses in Northern Ireland on the cross-border transfer of jobs to the Republic of Ireland.

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

Northern Ireland is and will remain a great place for businesses to invest and grow. Only this week we saw Belfast listed among the top 10 tech cities of the future. A number of companies have recently announced investments into the Northern Ireland economy, including Randox, Cygilant and Hypixel Studios.

Photo of Alistair Carmichael Alistair Carmichael Liberal Democrat Chief Whip, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

May I bring to the attention of the Minister, in case he has missed it, the words of the former Secretary of State, Julian Smith, who said recently that businesses in Northern Ireland were telling him that because of the uncertainties they faced they were considering shifting jobs into the Republic of Ireland? Will he not listen to the warnings of a very highly respected former Secretary of State and actually start engaging with businesses instead of just disregarding them?

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

I share the right hon. Gentleman’s respect for the former Secretary of State, but there is no need for Northern Ireland businesses to move elsewhere to trade with the UK. The Government will provide unfettered access for Northern Ireland businesses to the UK market. Working together with the Executive, we can provide strong conditions for recovery that will make Northern Ireland an excellent place to invest.