North/South Ministerial Council: Trade and Business Development

Part of Ministerial Statements – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 11:15 am on 15th December 2020.

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Photo of Diane Dodds Diane Dodds DUP 11:15 am, 15th December 2020

There is always room for cooperation. However, the Member should remember that, in the search for FDI, the Irish Government are our competitors. That is an important distinction. I do not say that in a political sense; it is a practical, economic reality. The protocol has given us trade that will flow between us and the Republic of Ireland and, indeed, between us and the rest of Europe, but it has given us significant disruptions to trade within the United Kingdom's internal market. I could not and would not support the protocol because I believe the interruption of the United Kingdom's internal market to be wholly wrong. However, I am also a realist, and the House voted to instigate the protocol, and we must ensure that we help businesses in Northern Ireland to navigate this complex scenario as best we can.