NI: New Secretary of State makes Brexit border pledge in Belfast visit

Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire
Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire

Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire will visit Belfast today for the first time since his Cabinet appointment.

Mr Brokenshire succeeds Theresa Villiers in the role following the reshuffle under the newly-inaugurated Prime Minister Theresa May.

At his first official engagement in Belfast City Hall, he said it was difficult to see how Northern Ireland and Scotland could remain in the EU after the Brexit vote, as some leading political figures have suggested.

However, he reiterated his strong support for continued freedom of movement between Ireland and the UK, without the reinstatement of border controls, as part of the Brexit settlement.

On his appointment last week, Mr Brokenshire also outlined his other priorities while in charge of the Northern Ireland Office.

He said: “I know from my previous visits to Northern Ireland that it is a very special and valued part of our United Kingdom and which has so much potential as a place to invest and do business.

“A key priority for me is to continue with the full implementation of the Stormont House and Fresh Start Agreements, to help tackle paramilitarism, put the Executive’s finances on a secure footing and address the legacy of the past. I also want to maintain the Government’s full support for the Belfast Agreement.”

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