Sunak sells his Brexit ‘best of worlds’ deal to the Northern Irish

Rishi Sunak says companies are ‘queueing up’ to invest in NI

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Rishi Sunak has landed in Northern Ireland and promised voters there that his deal with the EU will give them “the best of both worlds” as he starts the hard sell on the Brexit agreement. As Unionists in the DUP consider the details of the Windsor Framework, Mr Sunak insisted that with it Northern Irish citizens will have their UK sovereignty but also benefit from being in the EU’s single market.

Speaking at a question and answer session, the Prime Minister said: “If we get this right, if we get this framework implemented, if we get the Executive back up and running here [then] Northern Ireland is in the unbelievably special position, unique position in the entire world.

“It will have privileged access not just to the UK home market which is the fifth biggest in the world, but also the European Union single market nobody else has that no one, only you guys, only here.

“That is the prize. When I go around the world talking to businesses they know that, they are like ‘we want to invest in Northern Ireland.’

“This will be the world’s most exciting economic zone.”

With concerns growing over EU law still applying to Northern Ireland, the Prime Minister insisted that it was Northern Irish politicians who would get the final say with the veto he has negotiated called the Stormont brake.

The problem of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) still having sway on UK territory is one which is troubling the DUP and their Tory MP allies in the European Research Group (ERG).

Responding to a question on the issue, Mr Sunak argued: “The Stormont brake is an incredibly powerful new cross-community safeguard. What it means is that the people and institutions of Northern Ireland are in control of their destiny.

“If there is a significant new EU law that comes along that will have lasting and significant impact on everyday lives of people here in Northern Ireland, then the assembly will be allowed to pull the emergency brake.

“Once that is done it is crystal clear the UK government then does have an unequivocal veto. The UK government wants to sit down with the parties in Northern Ireland to codify how the UK government would use that veto to make sure everyone has reassurance that it will work properly.”

The Prime Minister insisted to the audience in County Antrim that the issue was very important to him pointing out that the Good Friday Agreement for peace was signed in 1998, the year he went to university.

He explained his roomate at unviersity was from Omagh.

But he warned that the protocol had disrupted the balance of the Good Friday agrement, which is about respecting all identities. That is why it needed resolving.

He described his deal as “a enormously positive step forward.”

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