08 February 2013
Lagan Valley MP Rt Hon Jeffrey Donaldson has outlined that unionism is stronger together and said that unionism should take heart from the results of the recent BBC opinion poll and work to make Northern Ireland the best place to live within the United Kindgom.
Spokesman on Defence, Equality and Energy and Climate Change, Member of the Defence Select Committee
Addressing an Orange Order installation dinner in Omagh last night Mr Donaldson said,
"The Unionist Forum has been established recently and I encourage everyone within the unionist community to engage in whatever way they can.
It doesn't matter whether its meetings like this or meetings through the Forum, I get one message "unionism is stronger together."
There is little point debating why past divisions have come about, but instead we should focus on the future and about what our vision for Northern Ireland is.
Only this week we have yet more clear evidence that no appetite exists for a united Ireland. Nationalist parties are offering a future, which people, regardless of their religion, simply do not want. This is an opportunity for a confident and united unionism to put forward our agenda of a peaceful Northern Ireland within the United Kindgom that is the very best place within the UK to live.
There are those who stand against any realignment within unionism because of their vested interests. A united unionism is not a negative or backward step but can be a positive driving force to move Northern Ireland forward whilst cementing our constitutional position.
We should not forget that whilst some parties talk about a shared future that it has been the leader of unionism who has set the agenda in actually building a better Northern Ireland. When Peter Robinson laid out a vision for shared education and of a majority of Catholics content with Northern Ireland’s constitutional position he was attacked and derided by some.
It is many of those same critics who attacked him then who now set their face against unionism standing stronger together. Those who have most to fear from a strong, confident unionism working together are often those who simply do not want to see a successful Northern Ireland together within the Union."