SDLP South Belfast MP Claire Hanna has said that a report by the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee on Investment in NI clearly demonstrates how the lack of a functioning Executive is damaging the economy and stifling investment.
The report highlights how Northern Ireland continues to face "endemic economic challenges", including high levels of economic inactivity and skills shortages in key industries, as well as "brain drain" as students and graduates continue to leave Northern Ireland.
The report also revealed how Brexit has had a "significant economic impact in NI" and that whilst the Protocol has had a range of implications, there is also an "increased scale of opportunity for Northern Ireland" due to its unique position with one foot in the EU Single Market and another in the UK Internal Market.
Speaking after the publication, Ms Hanna said:
“We have so much more potential than we realise here in Northern Ireland. This inquiry has enabled the committee to systematically work through issues like skills, infrastructure and the North/South economy to recommend ways that we can unlock this potential and focus on creating serious and decent jobs.
“The ‘Brain Drain’ has been a real drag on our economy for years and on our politics as well. Many young people have found this place stifling and they haven’t had opportunities that they see available in other places across these islands or further afield.
“We need an Executive that is serious about investment, about skills, about young people and about climate change. We need MLAs in Stormont doing their jobs, putting young people, equal opportunities, and investment ahead of culture war issues and promoting this region.
“The SDLP is completely committed to ensuring that we create a sustainable, dynamic, and inclusive economy and know that if people are willing to do their jobs, this is possible."