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Northern Ireland 'strengthened by David Cameron era'

Published 13/07/2016

David Cameron says he has strengthened Northern Ireland during his time as prime minister
David Cameron says he has strengthened Northern Ireland during his time as prime minister

David Cameron has said Northern Ireland is stronger now than when he came to power.

He attended his final Prime Minister's Question Time in Parliament after a six-year period in Downing Street.

As Conservative leader he oversaw the consolidation of political power-sharing, devolution of corporation tax powers and rescue of Presbyterian Mutual Society (PMS) savers but also a clampdown on public spending which his opponents branded austerity.

Mr Cameron said: "I do believe Northern Ireland is stronger than it was six years ago. 58,000 more people in work, the full devolution of justice and home affairs delivered under this Government, the Saville report published and record inward investment and creating jobs in Northern Ireland."

He was asked about the impact of Brexit on Northern Ireland by Ulster Unionist MP Danny Kinahan.

The premier said as the UK leaves the EU decision makers needed to work out how to keep the benefits of the common travel area between the UK and Ireland.

"Hard work is being done now with civil servants in Northern Ireland, in Whitehall but also in the Republic of Ireland and that work ... the pace needs to quicken."

Mr Cameron signed off as Prime Minister with advice for successor Theresa May to keep the UK "as close to the European Union as possible".

After being forced out of the premiership by last month's referendum vote to quit the EU, Mr Cameron won a standing ovation from Conservative MPs and applause from some of the opposition as he ended his last session of Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons by telling them: "I was the future once."

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