Theresa Villiers welcomes State’s economic recovery
NI Secretary hails knock-on benefits for Northern Ireland
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Theresa Villiers: “I very much welcome the news that the Irish economy is showing increasing signs of healing, not least because of the positive impact that is likely to have here in Northern Ireland.” Photograph: Aidan Crawley
Northern Secretary Theresa Villiers has welcomed indications that the Southern economy is recovering, not least because of the knock-on benefits that will accrue to Northern Ireland.
In a speech this morning, Ms Villiers will tell the annual conference of the British-Irish Chamber of Commerce in Belfast that British-Irish relations – culturally, socially, politically and economically – “have never been stronger”. She will also indicate her support for equalising corporation tax between the North and South.
“I very much welcome the news that the Irish economy is showing increasing signs of healing, not least because of the positive impact that is likely to have here in Northern Ireland.
“It is self-evident that the economies of the UK and Ireland are highly interdependent, and nowhere is that more true than here in Northern Ireland,” she will say.
Ms Villiers will add that the first joint British-Irish trade mission, which took place this week with ministers from London, Belfast and Dublin attending the Singapore Airshow, had already shown signs of success with the Bombardier aerospace company winning potential contracts worth £479 million (€585 million).
The Northern Secretary will tell delegates that next month Taoiseach Enda Kenny and the British prime minister David Cameron will review their Joint Declaration of 2012, which set out a course for UK-Irish relations over the coming decade, covering a range of areas that can benefit from closer co-operation.
Mr Cameron has promised that a decision on corporation tax will be taken after the Scottish referendum in the autumn.
While not making any commitments, Ms Villiers will say her Northern Ireland Office is “continuing the necessary technical work on the potential devolution of corporation tax from Westminster to Stormont”.
She will also refer to how companies such as Sainsbury’s have complained that red tape has made it difficult for them to set up in Northern Ireland.
She will also call for the Northern Executive to support UK welfare reform. Current proposals are being resisted by Sinn Féin.