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Non-sectarian pact could be good for NI

So as not to undermine the power-sharing Executive, or be accused of political bias, any deal the DUP makes should concentrate on the big infrastructure projects that have been planned over the next five years, with the cost of the agreed projects to sit outside the block grant, thus freeing money for the Executive to spend on health, education, etc.

Priority should be given, but not limited, to linking our two great cities of Belfast and Londonderry by motorway, dualling the A5, an underpass and/or flyover eradicating the Westlink and York Street junction, linking the Westlink directly with the M2 and M3. A motorway and rail link to the International Airport would improve the competitiveness of NI airports, as would the removal of air passenger duty.

Add to this a commitment to provide fibre-optic broadband to every household and business in NI, which is essential in a shrinking digital world. This would be a win-win for everyone. The Executive would have extra money, connectivity within Northern Ireland would be dramatically improved (thus increasing our attractiveness for inward investment), not to mention the economic stimulus to the economy the infrastructure build would bring. But, more importantly, the deal can be seen as neither Green nor Orange and, for the Tories, a possibly easier sell to the British electorate.

GERRY SHEARER

Portaferry, Co Down

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