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Peace and Prosperity

Volume 722: debated on Wednesday 9 November 2022

Peace and prosperity are intrinsically linked, and the Government are committed to delivering both in order to help Northern Ireland reach its full potential. I pay tribute to my hon. Friend for his expert contribution to that end when he served in the Department. We are investing £730 million in the new PEACEPLUS programme, which will support economic growth and community cohesion. The Government also provide significant resources to tackle the threat from terrorism, paramilitarism and organised crime.

I saw for myself that growth and city deals offer a huge opportunity in every part of Northern Ireland to improve economic performance and strengthen society, which underpins the peace process. Does my hon. Friend agree that if we are to maximise the benefits of those deals, we need an Executive in place working hand in hand with the UK Government?

My hon. Friend is absolutely right to point out that our £617 investment in city and growth deals presents an historic opportunity to generate innovation and growth across Northern Ireland. He is also right to say that we need a functioning Executive to drive forward that delivery.

This morning I met members of East Border Region, a cross-party, cross-border local authority-led organisation delivering peace and prosperity across the border. Will the Minister agree to meet them to discuss the work they have done over the past 50 years?

Certainly, I would be glad to meet them. If the hon. Lady will write to me, we will take that up.