Speeches sourced from the Labour party’s online archive More…

Vernon Coaker MP, Labour's Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary, commenting on today's announcement of an agreed economic package between the UK Government and Northern Ireland Executive, said:

"I've consistently said that Westminster has a vital role to play in helping Northern Ireland move forward, and I welcome this announcement as a step in the right direction.

"It is an important restating of some key proposals. Many of these were agreed with the last Labour government. We are proud of the role we played in building peace, and remain committed to helping build further progress and prosperity in every community.

"Regional aid is vital for business and investment in Northern Ireland. I campaigned along with MEPs, MPs and MLAs to keep automatic assisted area status for Northern Ireland, and I welcome the news that it will be retained.

"I also welcome support for infrastructure projects and community and economic development, including the Executive's proposals on shared education.

"Many outstanding issues remain, not least the impact of welfare reform in Northern Ireland. Labour will continue to work with the Executive to help build peace, progress and prosperity in every community."

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