Ulster Unionist Finance spokesperson, Philip Smith MLA, has stated that Northern Ireland needs leadership and stability rather than policy being written on the back of a cigarette packet following the referendum decision to leave the EU.
Mr Smith said:
“It is shocking but not surprising that two of the main protagonists of the Brexit campaign in Northern Ireland, Arlene Foster and Theresa Villiers, are not even able to agree a joint approach on cutting corporation tax. We have the unedifying spectacle of them chasing their tails. Instead of providing leadership and stability, it looks like they are writing policy on the back of a cigarette packet.
“Cutting corporation tax is Northern Ireland`s primary policy for economic development and rebalancing the economy, yet the Secretary of State and First Minister Foster are on totally different pages. It doesn`t provide much hope for Northern Ireland`s position in Brexit negotiations.
“Only a couple of days after First Minister Foster raised the prospect of Brexit lowering the cost of cutting corporation tax, recently assessed by officials at approximately £240 million, the Secretary of State has now very firmly shut the door on that idea.
“Northern Ireland is facing an era of uncertainty and needs clear leadership. So far the Executive has been slow to react with the additional problem of the Secretary of State and First Minister Foster looking in different directions despite being on the same side of the Brexit campaign. They need to up their game because so far it has been clueless.”