United Kingdom

(asked on 2nd December 2020) - View Source

Question to the Northern Ireland Office:

What steps his Department is taking to strengthen the Union.


Answered by
Robin Walker Portrait
Robin Walker
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
This question was answered on 2nd December 2020

This Government is committed to strengthening the Union. The UK is a family of nations which shares cultural, social and economic ties that, together, make us safer, more secure, and more prosperous.


The Government is committed to levelling up the whole of the UK and we will take every opportunity to strengthen Northern Ireland’s place within the Union, particularly as we approach its centenary year. This is something we have clearly demonstrated through the £2.8 billion previously provided to the Northern Ireland Executive to help fight coronavirus, along with the announcement last week by the Chancellor of an additional £918 million of funding for Northern Ireland for the incoming financial year.


The Government is clear that the UK must function as a single customs territory in practice as we operationalise the Protocol. That is why we have unequivocally committed to unfettered access for Northern Ireland goods to the rest of the UK, as outlined in New Decade, New Approach and in the 2019 manifesto.


We have brought forward draft regulations which establish the definition of Qualifying Northern Ireland Goods, ensuring no changes in how Northern Ireland businesses move goods directly to the rest of the UK from 1 January 2021, and the UKIM Bill will ensure that qualifying Northern Ireland goods can continue to be placed on the whole UK market and prohibit checks and controls as goods move from Northern Ireland to the rest of the UK.

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