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New Decade, New Approach Deal

Volume 677: debated on Wednesday 24 June 2020

What progress his Department has made on the implementation of the “New Decade, New Approach” deal. (903616)

The Government, despite the challenges of the pandemic, have continued to progress work where possible to implement our commitments. These include helping to end the nurses’ pay dispute, launching and progressing the recruitment process for a veterans’ commissioner, releasing £553 million of funding out of the £2 billion made available to progress implementation, and making changes to immigration rules. We will also be restarting the process with the Executive for organising a joint board that will provide quarterly review of UK Government funding provided under the deal.

Now that covid and our response to it is thankfully less all-consuming, does my hon. Friend agree that now is the time to see some real progress from the Northern Ireland Executive?

Absolutely. I agree with my hon. Friend, but we should recognise the manner in which the Executive have worked collaboratively to tackle the immediate crisis, including the way in which the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister have demonstrated leadership and the ability to put their differences aside, working together to protect the public.

The Government and the Northern Ireland Executive have set out our complete commitment to ensuring that the “New Decade, New Approach” deal is implemented in full. As the Secretary of State said earlier, one aspect we would welcome rapid progress on is the independent fiscal council.