New UK East-West Council to meet for first time today…

From the BBC:

The first meeting of the new UK East-West Council will take place in London later on Tuesday.

The UK government agreed to set up the council as part of a deal with the DUP that saw the party return to Stormont.

Stormont’s first and deputy first ministers will attend the summit, as well as ministers from the government.

Its purpose is to look at ways of deepening links between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

Another body, Intertrade UK, was also formed as part of the deal to promote two-way trade between Northern Ireland and GB.

What will the new council do?

The government said the council will have four initial missions including:

Sharing “best practice” between GB and NI on economic inactivity and offering advisory support to implement “major projects”
Recommending interventions on east-west investment and assessing existing funding and investment strategies
Improving international investment to Northern Ireland
Bolstering east-west connectivity

Who will be there?

Ministers from the Stormont Executive will take part alongside politicians from the UK government.

The first and deputy first ministers are expected to attend with Economy Minister Conor Murphy and Communities Minister Gordon Lyons.

For those wondering, this is different from the existing British-Irish Council (BIC) which is made up of 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.

As BT used to say, ‘It’s good to talk’ and boy do our politicians love to talk.

But maybe the words of the King himself – Elvis Aaron Presley are more appropriate. ‘A little less conversation, a little more action please.’

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