Category: Archive

One island!

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Hain also described the Northern Ireland economy as “not sustainable in the long-term”, although he acknowledged that it was doing better at present than at any time in its history. “The public sector is too large compared with the private sector,” Hain said. “It dominates the economy.”
Hain’s comments are notable since they seem to mark an increased acceptance of the need to move towards greater all-Ireland cooperation on economic issues.
The British cabinet minister said he foresaw an “increasing synergy between north and south” economically. He also revealed that the British government is planning an international investment conference aimed at boosting the north’s economic fortunes in late spring or summer 2006.
The conference, which is expected to carry the imprimatur of President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, will, according to Hain, explicitly link Northern Ireland to the huge economic gains made in recent years by the
“It’s an opportunity for Irish Americans not to just act charitably, but for businesses in their own hard self-interest to say, ‘look, Northern Ireland’s a great place to invest, it is part of an island that is growing very fast, especially in the south.”
Hain also had harsh words for republicans and loyalists on this, his second visit to the U.S. since becoming Secretary of State.
On policing, he said that since Sinn Fein members already engaged in discussions with the PSNI on an informal basis, it was time for the party to “cut the crap and get on with it” in relation to a final agreement on the issue.
On controversial parades, he said that the leadership of the Orange Order needed to realize that its refusal to enter into discussions with the Parades Commission and local residents’ groups was “just not good enough.”

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