It is open to all sportspeople in the UK to represent Great Britain and Northern Ireland where appropriate. In addition, both the UK Government and UK Sport recognise the birthright of all the people of Northern Ireland to identify themselves and be accepted as Irish or British, or both, as they may so choose. This right extends to athletes from Northern Ireland having the choice to represent Great Britain and Northern Ireland or Ireland at a national level in their given sport should they wish to do so. At times this will be subject to the overarching rules applied by the individual Governing Bodies of the sport.
Sporting matters are devolved, and eligibility and selection for international competition remain matters for the relevant sports authorities. However, sporting organisations have an important role to play in contributing to inclusion in Northern Ireland and across the United Kingdom. Through the sports cabinet, I will continue to discuss sporting matters across the UK.