We will take our time to fully interrogate detail of Windsor Framework - Beattie

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We will take our time to fully interrogate detail of Windsor Framework - Beattie

UUP Leader Doug Beattie MC MLA said:

“There has been a rush of positivity in the aftermath of the Windsor Framework being published.  It would be easy to get caught up in the moment, but the Ulster Unionist Party is clear that we will take our time to drill into the detail and consult widely to enable ourselves to make an informed decision.


“We are yet to see the legislation that will be enacted, the full legal text, we don’t yet have the full detail on the Stormont Brake, and we are waiting to see the exact changes that will be made to the Northern Ireland Act.  We are reaching out to business and other key stakeholders who will be directly impacted by the new arrangements.  I will continue to consult externally and internally within my Party as we make our assessment of whether the framework resets the balance and restores Northern Ireland’s place in the United Kingdom internal market.


“When I met the Prime Minister on Tuesday I said that we need to stop, calm down, gather all the information and make our analysis then on whether this is the best way forward.  Unionism should not repeat the mistakes of the past by rushing to reject something out of hand.  We must take our time to fully interrogate the information.


“This is a position we were told we would never be in.  Unionisms persistence in bringing the EU back to the negotiating table has shown that our Party was right to oppose the NI Protocol.  Those who wanted rigorous implementation of the Protocol as it was have been shown to have been wrong.


“The Windsor Framework in itself is, at the very least, a demonstration that diplomacy and negotiation works.  We spent the past three years making the pro-union case against the NI Protocol and that has led to the EU moving from a position we were told was as far as they could go. 


“The only way of resolving the current challenges Unionism faces is through democratic means.  There is zero justification for any grouping seeking to exploit the current political vacuum for their own ends.  My message to groupings who still exist twenty five years after the Belfast Agreement is to get off the backs of the communities you claim to represent and disband.”