09 November 2012
North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds has responded to the latest call by Gerry Adams for a border poll to be held.
DUP Deputy Leader, Leader of the DUP Parliamentary Party, Spokesman on Reform and Constitutional issues and Foreign Affairs
Mr Dodds said that Gerry Adams was 'detached from reality' if he believed that a border poll in Northern Ireland was a key issue for any American. The DUP Deputy Leader also pointed out that were a poll actually to be held that recent evidence shows a strengthening of support for the Union in Northern Ireland.
Mr Dodds said, ‘With Gerry Adams having turned himself into a figure of ridicule within Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland it would seem he is intent on now taking this to the United States of America. In a country less than eight weeks away from a ‘fiscal cliff’ it highlights Adams’ complete detachment from reality that he believes the biggest issue in the minds of Americans must be a border poll and a united Ireland.
Even if by some miracle Gerry Adams were able to persuade Americans that the future of Cork is of greater “strategic interest” to the USA than the future of Chicago or even China, the decision on a border poll would not actually be affected. A border poll can only be called by the Secretary of State when there is likely to be a vote in favour of changing our constitutional status. The DUP is not concerned about the likelihood of such a poll being held, nor are we worried about what the outcome would be.
All recent evidence actually points to a strengthening of support for the maintenance of Northern Ireland’s position within the UK.
The only people who cling to the notion of a border poll are Sinn Fein and a few gullible commentators who claim it would somehow bring stability. The reality is, that in Northern Ireland as in the United States the issues of importance to our citizens is the stability of our economy and the prospects for employment.
Sinn Fein’s focus on a border poll is partly to give increasingly disillusioned republicans some crumb of hope to cling to that the republican ‘project’ is still on track. It is also undoubtedly influenced also because of events in Scotland to which Gerry Adams does refer.
Whether the irony is lost on Adams’ American audience, it is not lost on many others that Scotland might leave the Union without the murder of a single innocent person or the bombing of any town centre. Whilst I am confident the people of Scotland will choose to remain stronger within the Union, it is notable that years of terrorism and bloodshed in Ulster did not deliver the republican dream. Instead the people of Northern Ireland are focused on building a better future, leaving Gerry Adams to peddle his myth to an increasingly weary audience.’