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Statement from the First Minister and deputy First Minister on the publication of the UK negotiating mandate

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First Minister Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill have said it is vital that the NI Executive is given a full and meaningful role in shaping the future relationship with the EU.

The comments follow today’s publication by Westminster of the UK’s approach to negotiations.

First Minister Arlene Foster said: “Our involvement in the decisions that affect the people of Northern Ireland is crucial. Although political differences exist, the Executive is working together to ensure the best possible outcome for people living here.

“Our priority is to ensure that the needs of Northern Ireland are understood and reflected as we move forward as our particular circumstances require very specific solutions. We need to work together to protect our economy and ensure that every possible step is taken to facilitate trade east west and north south.”

The deputy First Minister added: “We are in a unique position. However, the interdependencies between the protocol and the trade negotiations are not recognised in the British Government’s Mandate.

“The Executive is working to ensure that our businesses do not face increased costs, especially in terms of movement of goods north south or east west. We have requested to meet Michael Gove where I will raise these concerns.”

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