Transport Connections to Great Britain

Northern Ireland – in the House of Commons on 4th November 2020.

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Photo of James Davies James Davies Conservative, Vale of Clwyd

What assessment he has made of the adequacy of transport connections between different parts of Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

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

The Government are building a stronger and fairer economy for the future. To support the aim, the Prime Minister has announced an independent Union connectivity review, which is being led by Sir Peter Hendy. The review will consider how connectivity by road, rail, air and sea across the whole UK can support economic growth, increase quality of life and strengthen our Union.

Photo of James Davies James Davies Conservative, Vale of Clwyd

The north Wales main line railway connects Great Britain across the Irish sea and is vital for travel. Will my hon. Friend work with the Department for Transport and the Union connectivity review to see the line enhanced for the benefit of my constituents and the people of Northern Ireland?

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

My hon. Friend speaks up for north Wales effectively and makes an important point. The Government will engage positively with the Union connectivity review, which will look at how we can improve the transport landscape across the whole UK, including connections between Wales and Northern Ireland. Levelling up across the whole United Kingdom is an absolute priority for this Government.

Photo of Gregory Campbell Gregory Campbell Shadow DUP Spokesperson (International Development), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)

What input can the Minister say that he has had into the Union connectivity review, and how tangible does he expect the outcome to be in promoting and cementing business and cultural relationships across the whole United Kingdom?

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

The hon. Gentleman is right to point out that connectivity is crucial to business. As such, it will not surprise him that both the Secretary of State and I, along with the Department for Transport, the Cabinet Office and other groups, have met the Union connectivity review to make clear the importance of this for Northern Ireland.