I would like to inform the House that the Government are today publishing a response to the consultation on modernising the Industrial Development Act 1982 (IDA). This confirms the Government intention to remove the automatic 100% assisted area status of Northern Ireland and to make a number of more technical revisions to update the IDA.
A revised IDA, updated to reflect current economic realities, will provide maximum flexibility for addressing economic disparities across the whole of the United Kingdom when drawing up the assisted areas map for 2014-20 and when offering aid.
Removing Northern Ireland’s automatic assisted area status will not in itself mean Northern Ireland losing its 100% coverage under the Commission’s regional aid guidelines and new assisted areas map for 2014-20. The UK Government will work with the Northern Ireland Executive to get the best outcome from the European level discussions and there will be further consultation on the new UK assisted area map.
A copy of the response document will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses and is available electronically on the BIS website: