Cameron urges shared future

The British Prime Minister has told MLAs at Stormont that Northern Ireland needs a "shared future, not a shared out future."

David Cameron was speaking during a one-day visit to the North on Thursday of last week where he met with the first and deputy first ministers Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness.

Top of the agenda for discussion was the proposed reduction of corporation tax in the North to the level of the Republic of Ireland, this to make the North more competitive when attracting foreign investment.

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However, speaking at the Assembly, Mr. Cameron said it was disappointing that the number of "peace walls" in Northern Ireland had actually increased in recent years.

Since the 2006 St. Andrews Agreement, the number of such walls, a symbol of community division more than inter-community harmony, had risen from 37 to 48.

"It is disappointing that in too many places, Protestant and Catholic communities remain largely segregated, he said.

"Northern Ireland needs a genuinely shared future, not a shared out future," Cameron said.

He added that politics needed to move on to more "bread and butter" issues.

"Politics needs to move beyond the constitutional issues to the issues of work, safe streets, a stable home life and family," he said.

"Politics is about public service on behalf of the whole community."

In his speech, Cameron also described the queen's recent visit to Ireland as an "extraordinarily huge act of reconciliation."

On the Saville Inquiry's findings on Bloody Sunday in Derry in 1972, he described Bloody Sunday itself as: "one the sorriest episodes in our country's history."

Cameron said progress would not have happened without the courage and conviction of people from all the political parties in the Assembly.

"Our task is to move Northern Ireland even further forward," he said.