§ Mr. Ian Stewart
The broad strategy to improve transport infrastructure and minimise peripherality with regard to the European Community was one of the development priorities set out in the infrastructure section of the regional development plan which was submitted to the European Commission on 28 March 1989. This was the first stage in the new procedures in obtaining EC funds for Northern Ireland for this and future years.
Negotiations with the Commission are continuing on the overall level of funding and the type of projects which will be eligible for EC assistance.
§ 31. Mr. Darling
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the transport needs of Northern Ireland in the context of the single European market.
§ 32. Mr. Watson
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what preparation he is making to improve transport links between Northern Ireland and the rest of the EEC.
§ Mr. Needham
The Government recognise the importance to Northern Ireland of transport links in its peripheral position in the European Community. Therefore, the Government are taking steps to improve transport to allow Northern Ireland industry to take advantage of the enhanced business opportunities offered by the single European market. These steps include the development of a transportation programme which is to be submitted for aid from the European regional development fund and which includes projects to improve port, airport and rail facilities and the roads network.