The Minister for Employment and Learning was speaking as part of the Alliance Party’s Annual Conference – where he not only took the opportunity to highlight his biggest achievements over the past five years, but also the dangers in leaving the EU ahead of June’s referendum
Stephen Farry MLA said: “When it comes to being part of the European Union, Northern Ireland does well in terms of access to European Programmes and support for our rural economy.
“We won’t be fooled by any notion that Northern Ireland would get the same or more money back if we were left in the hands of the UK Government.
“The voices of the business community are overwhelming for staying in. It defies belief that some parties and politicians, who claim to support the local economy, would deny the logic of those who are the experts in creating wealth and jobs.
The prospect of leaving Europe, at the time when we are about to deliver that long-sought ability to lower the local rate of corporation tax, is a cruel irony.”
Mr Farry said that working alongside David Ford, Alliance had proven it could be ‘effective in government’ and could ‘deliver real change’.
He added: “Between us, we have left behind a significant legacy of achievements and proven that we make a substantive difference.
“With the biggest overhaul of apprenticeships in a generation, the creation of new university places for STEM subjects, under my leadership DEL has delivered a full suite of policies and programmes, transforming every aspect of our skills landscape.
“With our track record of delivery, through keeping our promises and delivering on our manifesto commitments, Alliance is clearly the most credible agent for the necessary change and reform that must come if Northern Ireland is finally to live up to its full potential.”