When an MP asks a question that is not very clear it gives the Government the opportunity to either ignore the real subject and give a superficial response or to focus on the real challenges and try to explain what is happening. When the question comes from an opposition MP it is clearly common ground for the Government to try to avoid an effective response, partly because they feel they are being challenged. However when it comes from a Conservative it may well be that the question asker is willing for a superficial response although there are no clear reasons why. It may be that we won’t see anything more significant coming from Andrew Griffith for some time but we can certainly keep an eye out on it. I certainly hope he will repeat his question very soon with a bit more clarity. In the meantime here is the question from Andrew Griffith and the response from Robin Walker who is The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office
AG: What steps his Department is taking to strengthen Northern Ireland’s place in the UK.
RW: The Government has always stressed the importance of the Union. This year is the centenary of Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom as we know it today, and the Government is committed to levelling up across all four nations of the UK.
The £400m New Deal and the £562m in City and Growth Deals will boost economic growth, with Deals covering the whole of Northern Ireland. This includes the Derry-Londonderry and Strabane City Deal that the Government signed Heads of Terms for in February.
Northern Ireland will also benefit from the Community Renewal Fund, the Levelling Up Fund and the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. We will continue working tirelessly for our family of nations going forward.