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Inaugural Meeting of New UK East-West Council Set for Today

New York council Meeting (Credits: Inverness Courier)

The inaugural session of the newly established UK East-West Council is scheduled to convene in London later today. This council was created as part of an agreement between the UK government and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which resulted in the party’s return to Stormont.

Representatives from Stormont’s first and deputy first ministers and ministers from the UK government will participate in this summit. The council’s primary objective is to explore avenues for strengthening ties between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

Gordon Lyons MLA (Credits: Gordon Lyons MLA/Facebook)

Additionally, Intertrade UK was established under the same agreement to facilitate bilateral trade between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. What are the objectives of the new council?

The government outlined four initial goals for the council, including:

  • Sharing best practices between Great Britain and Northern Ireland regarding economic inactivity and providing advisory assistance for implementing major projects.
  • Proposing interventions for east-west investment and evaluating existing funding and investment strategies.
  • Enhancing international investment in Northern Ireland.
  • Strengthening east-west connectivity.
  • Who will participate?

The summit will feature participation from ministers of the Stormont Executive alongside UK government officials. The first and deputy first ministers, accompanied by Economy Minister Conor Murphy and Communities Minister Gordon Lyons, are expected to attend.

Minister Gordon Lyons speaking to the media. (Credits: ITVX)

It’s important to note that this council differs from the British-Irish Council (BIC), which comprises representatives from the UK and Irish governments, the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, and the governments of the Isle of Man, Jersey, and Guernsey.

In the spirit of effective communication, our politicians often engage in dialogue, reminiscent of BT’s famous slogan, “It’s good to talk.” However, perhaps the sentiment expressed by Elvis Presley is more fitting: “A little less conversation, a little more action, please.”

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