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False start fears expressed over Stormont agreement

By Staff Reporter

The Fresh Start agreement reached by political leaders must not turn into a false start, a business leader has warned.

Tony Nicholl said the past should no longer delay the future as he addressed an annual dinner for the accountancy profession.

Mr Nicholl said A Fresh Start - the Stormont Agreement and Implementation Plan, had been a major step forward for the province.

But he added: "It is critical that our politicians back up the words with action by starting to engage in economic politics."

Mr Nicholl, president of Chartered Accountants Ireland, told guests at the organisation's annual dinner at Belfast City Hall: "Northern Ireland has a great deal to offer as an investment location.

"It is a great place to live, and it can be a great place in which to do business. We cannot afford to damage and disrupt our future any longer.

"We cannot risk our economy, our jobs and our reputation with potential investors, especially as we work to recover from the longest recession in living memory."

And while he said the desire of politicians to see the province succeed was "not in doubt," he added: "We can no longer allow the past to delay our future."

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