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We want to make Northern Ireland's voice heard, says Secretary of state James Brokenshire as he launches Brexit tour

By David Young, PA

The Northern Ireland Secretary is to canvass public opinion on the implications of Brexit on a two-week tour of the region.

James Brokenshire, who took up the Cabinet post last month, explained he hoped to spend the rest of August talking with local business representatives, community leaders and politicians.

He added that the series of day-long visits was part of the Government's effort to ensure Northern Ireland's voice is heard in the forthcoming Brexit talks.

The Conservative MP will also hold a number of meetings with groups representing victims and survivors of the Troubles as he prepares for fresh political talks on resolving an impasse over mechanisms to deal with the legacy of the past.

On a visit to Bushmills Distillery in Co Antrim, Mr Brokenshire said: "I have seen first-hand the dynamism, creativity and diversity of Northern Ireland's businesses, and spoken about the UK Government's priorities here - political stability, economic prosperity and keeping people safe and secure.

"We all want to make a success of the decision by the people of the UK to leave the EU and I want to get alongside people to hear what they think.

"On behalf of the UK Government, I am determined that we prepare together for the challenges ahead.

"These visits are an opportunity to learn about the diverse issues faced by people from every part of Northern Ireland.

"I will also be explaining that the UK Government is committed to working alongside them and the Executive.

"The UK is a great and strong country with a bright future, and Northern Ireland will have a huge part to play."

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