Belfast Telegraph

Arlene Foster has 'very useful meeting' with Northern Ireland business leaders

Democratic Unionist leader Arlene Foster said she had a "very useful meeting" with around 30 representatives of the business and farming communities in Northern Ireland at Stormont on Monday.

"We reiterated why we couldn't support the Withdrawal Agreement - because it is a legally-binding international document that treats Northern Ireland differently from the rest of the UK, but also imposes rules in the longer-term from Europe over which we would have no democratic say, neither would any businesses nor the farming community," she said.

"It was a very useful meeting, we will continue having meetings with the business community."

When asked whether she had apologised to the business leaders over a comment by Democratic Unionist MP Sammy Wilson, calling them puppets for the Northern Ireland Office, Mrs Foster said it "wasn't for her to raise it".

"It wasn't raised during the meeting by any of the business community, what we talked about was the fact that the media have been trying to put a wedge between the political party and the business community, what we need to do is to have a very good working relationship, we might differ on different areas of policy but the one thing for sure is that we both care passionately about Northern Ireland and about the economic future of Northern Ireland, and so we are going to continue to have that dialogue in the future."

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