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PM warns that absent NI executive poses ‘issues’ for city deals

Words: Roger Milne

The Prime Minister has pointed out that the absence of a Northern Ireland Executive is creating difficulties for the creation of city deals across Northern Ireland.

Theresa May’s comments came during Prime Minister's Questions in the Commons on Wednesday (25 April). She was asked by Gavin Robinson, the DUP MP for East Belfast, to “ensure sufficient progress” on city deals and the roll-out of ultra-fast broadband in time for the Autumn Budget. City deals are in prospect for both the capital, and for the Derry and Strabane area.

May said the lack of an executive was creating more work for her ministers and civil servants.

She told Parliament: “The government have set out several public commitments, including in the confidence and supply agreement, to work towards a comprehensive and ambitious set of city deals across Northern Ireland.

“There is progress being made, which I welcome, by the Belfast city region partners in developing the city deal proposals. I look forward to their submission, which will obviously be considered by the government.”

She added: “Of course, in the absence of an executive, there are some issues to work through.”

May said the Northern Ireland Secretary was committed to working “positively with partners in the UK Government, the Belfast city region and the Northern Ireland civil service to progress the city deal”.

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