From Arlene Foster MLA <[email protected]>
Subject DUP News Update - 21st February
Date February 21, 2020 7:43 PM
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DUP News Update - 21st February 2020
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** Party Leader opens new Constituency Office
Party Leader Arlene Foster MLA officially opens Harry Harvey MLA's Constituency Office in Ballynahnich.
DUP Leader Arlene Foster officially opened Strangford MLA Harry Harvey’s Constituency Office in Ballynahinch this morning.

Speaking afterwards she said, “From Councillors, to MLAs and MPs the DUP has always prided itself on first-class constituency service. The Party only exists because of the support received and constituency work is the foundation of that support.

Northern Ireland suffered for three years without devolution in place and whilst MLAs continued their work, this was hampered because Ministers were not in place and decisions could not be taken. The restoration of devolution will ultimately be tested on what we can deliver to improve the lives of people right across Northern Ireland. Building a Northern Ireland which is prosperous and which everyone is comfortable to call home is the vision that I am taking forward and which I am determined to deliver.

That is a task which will require hard work and effort, not just from Ministers but from MLAs and I know Harry will be central to that task alongside his colleagues both in Strangford and across Northern Ireland. The people of Strangford have a dedicated and committed representative whose focus is on delivering for them.”

** Work continues to protect unborn
Lagan Valley MLA Paul Givan has stressed that work is continuing on measures to be brought before the Assembly in order to protect the unborn.

He said. "When DUP MPs opposed the decision by MPs on the House of Commons to impose some of the most extreme abortion laws anywhere in the British Isles we made it clear that we would use all avenues available to challenge that decision.

Abortion legislation should be decided upon by the Northern Ireland Assembly and it was for that reason the Assembly was recalled and an attempt was made to prevent the legislation being imposed from Westminster.

The return of devolution means the issue will be brought back to the floor of the Assembly. However the law passed by Westminster put a legal obligation on the Secretary of State to bring forward the new legal framework despite devolution having now been restored. These regulations, which have been subject to a public consultation which the Party contributed to, have not yet been brought forward but must be in place by the 31st March. When these are finally published the Party will be in an informed position to respond and seek the restoration of pro-life legislation through the Northern Ireland Assembly.

The importance of this issue means we must do everything possible to achieve a successful outcome. When proposals come forward it will be vital to build support right across the Assembly. That will be a time when everyone can play their part with the need to build a campaign which can receive the backing from a majority of MLAs. The Party has already engaged internally and externally with a range of stakeholders in preparation for the work ahead and I would reassure everyone who values the unborn child that this work will continue.
First Minister Arlene Foster and Economy Minister Diane Dodds had constructive discussions with the Rt. Hon. Conor Burns MP the Minister of State for International Trade. Mr Burns is focused on new trade deals for the UK post our exit from the EU.

** ROI needs sensible EU trade deal

East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell has said that trade between the UK and Republic of Ireland demonstrate the importance of a sensible and practical future trade agreement for the Irish economy.

His comments follow the release of figures to the DUP MP detailing imports and exports between the UK and Ireland in 2009 and 2019.

He said, “The importance of the UK internal market is already well known for Northern Ireland. As we trade more with Great Britain than we do with the rest of the world combined, access to our own national market is the single most important factor for the Northern Ireland economy.

There has been less attention paid to the importance of the UK market for the Irish economy. Whilst the UK exports more to ROI than it imports, it equates to a much larger percentage of the Irish economy given the relative size of each. It is also notable that trade between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland has increased over the last decade. The UK is not just a huge market for Irish goods, but it is growing in importance.

No sector is more dependent upon the United Kingdom than the Irish agri-food industry. The Irish Government’s own figures show that almost 50% of beef exports go to the UK and over 20% of dairy exports.

All of this continues to underscore the need for a sensible and practical future trade agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union. Whilst the UK has been clear that a zero tariff, zero quota trade deal is its aim, yet the European Union is raising issues like the ‘Elgin marbles’ into trade talks. Such actions are aimed at frustrating a sensible outcome, not reaching one.

Whilst the Republic of Ireland is obviously focused on domestic issues at present, perhaps before the transition period has ended there will be some voices raised from across the border encouraging the EU to seek agreement rather than reach an outcome which damages their own member states.”

** Poots pledges to stand up for local fishermen

DAERA Minister Mr Edwin Poots, has vowed to fight for our local fishing industry and support its growth as he visited Kilkeel Harbour this week.

The Minister met with Mr Alan McCulla, OBE, Chief Executive of the Anglo-Northern Ireland Fish Producers Organisation, and representatives of Sea Source, to hear first-hand the issues facing the Northern Ireland fishing industry.

After the meeting, he said: “I visited Kilkeel to see for myself the current concerns facing our fishermen.

“I recognise the challenges faced by our industry and will stand up for our local fleet. I’m very keen to hear how we can work together to help with the industry’s ambitious plans for future development.

"We discussed potential future fishing opportunities in the Irish Sea and even more pressing, the need to protect and support the industry to prosper, post-Brexit. I have made clear that it is unacceptable for our industry to be at any disadvantage.

"The industry has made real progress in improving sustainability and we need to build on this to ensure a vibrant and prosperous future for the industry.”

** Further Policy Consultations Launched

Further documents were published this week allowing anyone interested to contribute to developing the Party's policies across a range of areas.

To engage in these policy consultation exercises click on the buttons below:
The Next Generation - Youth Policy in Northern Ireland ([link removed])
Examining Online Harassment & Cyber Bullying ([link removed])
Diary Page

Dates for your Diary

* Newry & Armagh Constituency Buffet - Friday 28th February @ 7.30pm - Kilcluney Orange Hall.

* Fermanagh & South Tyrone Constituency Dinner - Friday 20th March @ 7pm - Killyhevlin Hotel. Tickets £28.

* Lagan Valley Constituency Association Stew & Dessert Night - 14th March - Low Quarter Orange Hall. £10 per person. Speaker Nelson McCausland on topic of St Patrick.

* Spring Policy Conference - Saturday 21st March - Seagoe Hotel, Portadown

* Erne West Branch - Dinner & Auction - Friday 17th April @7.30pm - Gransha Hall. Guest Speaker, Edwin Poots MLA.

* Annual Party Conference - 24th & 25th October - Crowne Plaza Hotel, Shaws Bridge Belfast.

For more information or to express interest in events where not otherwise indicated, please email [email protected] (mailto:[email protected]?subject=Diary%20Dates%20-%20DUP%20Newsletter)

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