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Northern Ireland Economy and Innovation: Government Support

Part of Endometriosis Workplace Support – in Westminster Hall at 4:27 pm on 29th October 2019.

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Photo of Emma Little Pengelly Emma Little Pengelly Shadow Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Equality), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (International Trade) 4:27 pm, 29th October 2019

I thank my hon. Friend for that intervention, which was so good that I almost intervened on him. I absolutely agree. We have incredible companies. Politicians from all parties, but particularly the Democratic Unionist party, have always been proud to showcase and promote those companies, in London, the UK and across the globe. I have had the privilege and pleasure of accompanying many of those businesses on trade missions across the globe. I can see the huge interest in the innovation and creativity of those companies.

The Democratic Unionist party has often been referred to as the party of business in Northern Ireland. Some may disagree with that, and we do not always agree with business on everything, but one thing is clear: the Democratic Unionist party is a proud pro-business party. We recognise that supporting business is critical to supporting our economy, and growth in our economy is critical to getting new opportunities for young people and building a better future for them. We know that shared prosperity in Northern Ireland will bring shared stability. That is essential for Northern Ireland as it emerges from decades of trouble and division, and their legacy, which we still deal with; we know that growing the economy is key.

That is why, in 2007, when the Northern Ireland Assembly was restored, the Democratic Unionist party made growing the economy in Northern Ireland the No. 1 priority. We do so by building a coalition with all the other parties that agree that growing the economy is the best way to get a bright and better future for all in Northern Ireland, across all communities: Catholic and Protestant, Unionist and nationalist, and new and other communities that do not define in that way. We want everybody in Northern Ireland to succeed, and to have the best opportunities, and we recognise that one critical way of doing that is to have a robust, growing and strong economy in Northern Ireland.