Ulster Unionists reject Council move to establish Working Group on Irish Unity

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Ulster Unionists reject Council move to establish Working Group on Irish Unity

Councillor David Taylor, the Ulster Unionist Party’s Group Leader on Newry, Mourne & Down District Council, has criticised a decision by the Council to establish a ‘New Ireland Working Group.’

Councillor Taylor said:

“The proposal brought forward initially by Sinn Fein to establish an Irish Unity Working Group was considered unacceptable by myself and other Ulster Unionist Party colleagues. The fact that the wording of the proposal was amended to instead create a ‘New Ireland Working Group’ does not make it any more acceptable to my Party.  The nature of the proposed working group remains the same – seeking to use the Council to pursue the aim of a United Ireland.

“As someone who is committed to maintaining and strengthening the Union, it should come as no surprise to anyone that I would not wish to participate in a forum which seeks to destroy something I cherish.

“The creation of this working group is divisive in nature and will serve only to impact on the local Unionist community's confidence in Council’s ability to be truly representative of all its citizens.  Claims that there is an appetite for constitutional change in Northern Ireland are completely unfounded.  Time and time again, opinion polls and election results continue to show that the vast majority of citizens in Northern Ireland wish to remain part of the United Kingdom.

“What will materialise from this decision is the creation of an echo chamber for Republican and Nationalist politicians. It will serve as no benefit to enhancing the well being or prosperity of our citizens.  As elected representatives we have greater priorities requiring our attention, including the cost of living crisis, the rebuilding of our NHS, the creation of jobs and improving educational attainment to name but a few.  Our focus should be on building a better Northern Ireland, not creating further division on the constitutional position where the widely held view is settled.”