Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland

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There are 18 seats up for grabs in Northern Ireland, with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Fein likely to finish the largest parties.

Brexit is an issue which takes on extra significance in Northern Ireland because it affects the Constitutional question. Unionist parties are calling on the electorate to back them to head off calls for a referendum for Irish Unity, while Sinn Fein are making a referendum the centrepiece of their campaign.

DUP’s East Belfast candidate Gavin Robinson said, “The DUP has been a consistent supporter of self-employment and entrepreneurship in Northern Ireland, recognising that it is key in order to build a stronger economy. In order to encourage self-employment, the DUP supports a tax regime which rewards those who are prepared to invest and take risks to build their business.

“Brexit presents an opportunity for these entrepreneurs to rejuvenate to building trading relationships across the world, unfettered by the burden of European regulation.

“As the party who has held the economy brief throughout the period of devolution we understand the issues and challenges facing the self-employed, and continue to engage regularly at all levels of our representation, with business people.

“Our message to the self-employed is simple - we will support you.”

Once the vote is over, talks will resume on restoring the power sharing executive in Stormont. The Norther Irish assembly has been without a devolved government since the beginning of the year when a heating scheme scandal led to its collapse.

The SDLP has confirmed it will run candidates in every Northern Ireland constituency for the Westminster election following speculation they would not contest some seats.

The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) will be fighting the election with a new leader at the helm. Robin Swann took up the position in March following Mike Nesbitt’s resignation after poor assembly election results. The Alliance Party is hopeful of regaining East Belfast, having previously won the seat in 2010 from the DUP.

Politics