British-Irish Council: Summit

Part of Ministerial Statements – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 10:45 am on 30th November 2021.

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Photo of Matthew O'Toole Matthew O'Toole Social Democratic and Labour Party 10:45 am, 30th November 2021

Minister, you said that the protocol formed part of the discussion on EU relations. While negotiations on mitigations for east-west trade continue, and we hope that they are resolved quickly, evidence is mounting that our unique position under the protocol, with its dual market access, is doing our economy good. Yesterday, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that Northern Ireland has performed better than any other UK region over the past two years, which includes the time in which the protocol has been operational. National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) inflation estimates suggest that we have the lowest inflation in the UK. Almac, Ardagh Metal Packaging, Clandeboye Estate Yoghurt and Deli Lites: the list of companies that are either generating investment or creating jobs because of the protocol's dual market access is increasing. Minister, you were at the British-Irish Council meeting. We can get real economic benefit, not just from our crossroads at the British and Irish markets —