Danny Kinahan: A focus on East-West relations is needed

East-West: From left, Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon, NI first minister Arlene Foster and Angus Robertson the SNP's leader in the Commons. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

East-West: From left, Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon, NI first minister Arlene Foster and Angus Robertson the SNP's leader in the Commons. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

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There must be more emphasis placed on East-West working relations in the aftermath of the EU referendum result.

The last ten days have seen some of the most challenging political situations in living memory and there is no reason to believe that these challenges will not continue unless all we all start working together for the benefit of the whole United Kingdom.

In Northern Ireland, as in England, Scotland and Wales, all political parties must work to get the best deal, regardless of how they campaigned during the referendum.

We cannot let one or two parties shape the negotiating structures for a region, all voices must be heard and listened to.

A new emphasis on East-West working relationships is needed, with a particular focus on Northern Ireland working more closely with the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales.

One of my priorities at Westminster has been championing better working relationships between Northern Ireland and our GB neighbours, we cannot allow our nations to work in a detached, ‘devolve and forget’, manner.

By working together, we can deliver better services and representation for the whole UK.

Nowhere will this be more important than in the coming months as we prepare to negotiate our very future with the rest of Europe and the world beyond.

Danny Kinahan, Ulster Unionist MP South Antrim, Member Northern Ireland Affairs Committee