Ford calls on new Secretary of State to recognise remain desire

Alliance Leader David Ford MLA has called on new Northern Ireland Secretary of State James Brokenshire to recognise the desire of the majority of people here to remain in the EU.

Mr Ford was speaking after Mr Brokenshire was announced in the role by new Prime Minister Theresa May, to replace Theresa Villiers.

“I congratulate Mr Brokenshire on his appointment as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, having worked closely with him during my time as Minister of Justice,” said Mr Ford.

“I trust his experience during that period will help him bring a balanced view to the role of Secretary of State. Part of that role will be to recognise the majority of people in Northern Ireland voted to remain within the EU and to start work immediately on the particular circumstances of that.

“That will involve fighting for Northern Ireland in any Brexit negotiations, by articulating he will be an active advocate of the interests of Northern Ireland, both within the Cabinet and within EU discussions.

“I also wish to thank Theresa Villiers for her service as Secretary of State. Although we didn’t always see eye to eye on certain subjects, her time in office required dealing with a number of serious political challenges, while she also presided over a number of political agreements.

“However, the difficulties that led to those agreements and the problems implementing them showcase the tensions and unresolved issues among other parties that continue to limit Northern Ireland’s true potential.”

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