Executive is urged to ‘pull plan together’

Steve  Aiken

Steve Aiken

The Northern Ireland Executive urgently needs to “pull a credible plan together” in light of Theresa May’s announcement that Britain will begin the process of leaving the EU in six months.

That is the verdict of Steve Aiken MLA, the Ulster Unionist Party’s economy spokesperson, who said that the Northern Ireland Executive has now “nowhere to hide”.

Mr Aiken said: “Now that the Prime Minister has given clear notice that Article 50 will be triggered before the end of March 2017, there is a huge onus on the Northern Ireland Executive to urgently pull a credible plan together for Northern Ireland so that the unique challenges facing us are addressed as part of the UK’s negotiations with the EU.

“The Executive now has nowhere left to hide and the clock has started counting down.

“Their approach so far has been lamentable, marked by mixed messaging and a complete lack of urgency. We need to exploit the opportunities presented by Brexit but if we’re not careful we could be left behind.

“Perhaps First Minister Foster will be able to offer some clarity while she is sipping champagne at the Conservative Party conference.”