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Letter from Ulster Unionist MP, Jeffrey Donaldson to the members of the Ulster Unionist Party, 26 May 2000

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Letter from Ulster Unionist MP, Jeffrey Donaldson to the members of the Ulster Unionist Party, 26 May 2000

Dear Fellow Unionist,

Over the past number of days, my colleagues and I have been consulting widely within the Party and are extremely concerned about deep divisions over the recent IRA offer.

It is clear that for many of us, the IRA statement does not provide the clarity and certainty that Ulster Unionists need on the decommissioning of illegal weapons.

The IRA demands full devolution up front but offers no prospect of actual decommissioning.

We are presenting an alternative way forward that has the potential to deliver our twin objectives of devolution and disarmament and to reunite our Party.

As you read this, we hope to be meeting with the Party Leader to discuss our proposals in a genuine and sincere attempt to build a consensus that would avoid a divisive vote and a damaging Party split on Saturday. The outline of our proposals is as follows:

The Party reaffirms its commitment to re-enter the Executive upon receiving from the Independent International Disarmament Commission that the Provisional

IRA have commenced credible and verifiable decommissioning of their illegal weapons and explosives, leading to complete disarmament within an agreed timetable.

In the interim, the Assembly should have a role in developing departmental policy and increasing the accountability of the administration of Northern Ireland.

In the event that a terrorist organisation linked to a Party fails to decommission with the agreed timetable, there should be an effective exclusion mechanism.

The Party reaffirms its commitment to defend the proud name and insignia of the Royal Ulster Constabulary in accordance with the unanimous support given to the Motion on 26 March.

It is our belief that these proposals can command widespread support across the Party and further afield.

If adopted, they provide a foundation for a truly peaceful, inclusive and democratic society. We commend them to you on that basis.

Yours faithfully,

Jeffrey Donaldson MP
Vice President
Ulster Unionist Council

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