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PM to go to NI to debate Covid-19 response

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Prime Minister Boris JohnsonImage copyright
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Boris Johnson was final in Northern Ireland in January, when a deal was struck to revive power-sharing

Boris Johnson will go to Northern Ireland afterward Thursday for conferences with Stormont’s political leaders and Taoiseach (Irish PM) Micheál Martin.

It would be the prime minister’s first journey to Northern Ireland since January, when a deal was struck to revive power-sharing.

He will meet First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill.

They will talk about how Westminster and Stormont have tackled Covid-19.

Ahead of the journey, Mr Johnson stated he recognised that “close working” had helped through the pandemic.

“I cannot overstate how important the close co-operation that we have seen between central and devolved government will continue to be to this,” he added.

“Together, we will make sure Northern Ireland is ready to take full advantage of the many opportunities that lie ahead and that no part of Northern Ireland is left behind.”

Trade negotiations

The prime minister can be set to carry his first face-to-face assembly with Micheál Martin, for the reason that Fianna Fáil chief grew to become taoiseach in June.

The two leaders are anticipated to debate the shared struggle towards coronavirus and work on a sustainable financial restoration, in addition to the UK’s ongoing negotiations with the EU to succeed in a commerce deal, stated Downing Street.

An announcement from the Irish authorities stated the assembly at Hillsborough Castle shall be “an opportunity for discussion of a number of issues of mutual concern”.

“Covid-19 will top the agenda and the two leaders are expected to discuss their respective experiences of managing the virus and dealing with its economic and societal impact,” it stated.

“They will also discuss Brexit, including the continuing negotiations between the UK and the EU, with less than six months to the end of the transition period.”

The transition interval is because of finish on 1 January and a brand new “trade border” will start working between Northern Ireland and the remainder of the UK.

Last week, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove set out particulars of £355m in funding for a system to ease commerce going from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

‘Celebrate Northern Ireland’

During his journey to Northern Ireland, Mr Johnson may even announce plans to mark Northern Ireland’s centenary yr in 2021.

He is predicted to say {that a} centenary discussion board and historic advisory panel shall be established to work alongside the federal government to mark 100 years for the reason that creation of Northern Ireland.

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Boris Johnson will talk about plans to mark Northern Ireland’s centenary yr in 2021 throughout his go to

The prime minister stated it was “important” to rejoice Northern Ireland’s individuals, tradition and traditions, “along with its vital contribution to the United Kingdom”.

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis additionally welcomed the primary stage of the federal government’s centenary plans.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for people right across the UK to celebrate Northern Ireland and its integral place within our union,” he stated.

“The establishment of a centenary forum and centenary historical advisory panel will offer us the opportunity to work with a broad spectrum of people, including those from across the political parties, business, tourism and the voluntary and community sectors, to deliver an ambitious and exciting programme of events to mark this significant national anniversary for the UK.”

The authorities will use the centenary subsequent yr to “promote Northern Ireland on the world stage”, pledged Mr Lewis.

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