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We will protect Northern Ireland's interests during Brexit, minister to pledge

Published 03/10/2016

Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire will promise to protect the province's interests when he addresses the Tory party conference
Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire will promise to protect the province's interests when he addresses the Tory party conference

Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire is to vow that the province's interests will be protected when the UK leaves the European Union.

Mr Brokenshire will say he has no doubt that Northern Ireland "can and will" make a success of Brexit.

And he will say that the Government is determined to protect the Union of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in the wake of EU withdrawal, which is expected to take place in early 2019.

Speaking to the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, Mr Brokenshire is expected to say: "Building a Northern Ireland that works for everyone also means making a success of the UK's democratic decision to leave the European Union. And I am in no doubt that Northern Ireland can and will.

"Northern Ireland has some world-beating businesses, a hugely talented workforce and a great, entrepreneurial spirit."

On the border with the Republic of Ireland, he will promise: "We will work to ensure that Northern Ireland's unique interests are protected and advanced. That's particularly the case when it comes to the land border with the Republic of Ireland and the Common Travel Area which has served the UK and Ireland well for many decades."

The Northern Ireland Secretary will add: "As the Prime Minister made clear on entering Downing Street we must preserve the special bonds that unite England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

"That's what we will continue to do as we seek to build a peaceful, stable and prosperous Northern Ireland. A Northern Ireland that works for everyone."

Addressing the issue of paramilitary groups, Mr Brokenshire will say: "Northern Ireland's future will only ever be determined by democracy and consent, never by violence.

"Tackling paramilitary groups remains a key part of this agenda.

"There was never any justification for these groups in the past. There is none today. We need a concerted effort across society to put them out of business for good."

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