People want us to get on with Brexit, says Northern Ireland Secretary

The people of Northern Ireland “want the Government to get on with it” and deliver the best EU deal for them, the Secretary of State has said.

Karen Bradley said that is the “overwhelming message” she has received as she has campaigned in favour of the Prime Minister’s Withdrawal Agreement.

It comes ahead of the first day of debates on the Government’s Brexit deal.

“Over the past fortnight, I have spent my time speaking to people in Northern Ireland from all walks of life about the Brexit deal – business leaders, voluntary groups, self-employed entrepreneurs and many others,” she said.

Ms Bradley visited a number of towns and cities in Northern Ireland including Lisburn, Newtownards and Bangor as part of her drive to garner support for the proposed withdrawal treaty.

“The overwhelming message I heard is that the people of Northern Ireland want the Government to get on with it and deliver a deal that will help provide a better future for them and their families,” she added.

“I believe this deal is the best possible way to do that.

“This week is hugely important as the debate in the House of Commons about the deal begins.

“I hope my colleagues take the time to listen to the businesses and people of Northern Ireland who support this deal ahead of the vote next week.

“They will hear that the deal on the table is good for Northern Ireland.”

She added: “It will protect vital jobs and investment and allow businesses in Northern Ireland to seize upon new opportunities as we strike new trade deals around the world.

“It will also ensure we end the vast annual payments being sent to the EU so we will be able to focus our energies on the many other important issues that matter to the people of Northern Ireland – such as the health service.

“Crucially it is a deal that protects the constitutional and economic integrity of the United Kingdom.”

At the start of five days of debate in the Commons, the Prime Minister will stress the need to respect the result of the 2016 referendum and suggest backing her deal will help reunite a divided nation.

Theresa May will insist her Brexit deal sets the UK on course for a “better future outside the EU” as MPs begin a marathon debate on her plan.

The Prime Minister faces widespread opposition from MPs across the Commons – including both the Leave and Remain wings of her own party – ahead of the meaingful vote on the deal, due to take place on December 11.