Border poll would be divisive and destabilizing

05 September 2017

DUP Leader Arlene Foster MLA said,

“Northern Ireland needs stability.  That means we need a functioning government to make vital decisions.  We do not need a divisive and destabilizing border poll.

A united-Ireland will always be the goal of republicans and nationalists.  As a unionist, I will always campaign for Northern Ireland remaining within the Union. Support for the Union has never been greater.

Such support does not just stem from a love for the NHS or the economic stability of the United Kingdom. It is much broader than that. The case for the Union doesn’t rely upon money.  The United Kingdom is not the biggest nation in the world but our language, our music, our literature, our arts and our sporting success projects a power around the globe that pure numbers of people can never do.

There will be no border poll as there is no evidence of overwhelming support for a united-Ireland. Holding, or indeed even just proposing, a border-poll within five years is not sensible.  It will propel Northern Ireland into a cycle of referenda. This is nothing short of wishful thinking by Gerry Adams.

I want Northern Ireland to have a period of stability where we can deal with matters affecting health, education, investment and infrastructure.  In negotiating a confidence and supply agreement with the Conservatives, the package of measures delivered for everyone in Northern Ireland demonstrated our priorities.  Delivering such investment should be our focus.

I am not surprised by Gerry Adams’ attachment to a narrow political project but it is time he and those around him lifted their eyes and considered the damage recent instability is having upon everyone in Northern Ireland.”

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