DUP Infrastructure spokesperson Michelle McIlveen has said the enthusiasm shown by the Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon for North-South co-operation stands in contrast with her opposition to any East-West developments, including those outlined in the New Decade New Approach agreement which helped restore devolution.
Commenting after the Minister and her counterpart in the Republic announced the launch of an all-island Strategic Rail Review the Strangford MLA said,
"Infrastructure projects will often cross jurisdictional boundaries and there is an obvious need for coo-operation between Northern Ireland and the Republic. It is notable that the Minister cites commitments in the New Decade New Approach agreement as part of her motivation for taking this particular review forward when she has steadfastly opposed other elements of that agreement, including attempts by the UK Government to improve co-operation with the devolved institutions.
Just as infrastructure projects can require cross-border co-operation there is also a need for Nichola Mallon to work with her counterparts across the rest of the United Kingdom too. The Minister obviously places a high priority on developing the rail network. It remains to be demonstrated however whether that enthusiasm is replicated for anything which might entail greater co-operation with her counterparts in other parts of the UK."