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'No Deal Without Delivery', Statement by Ian Paisley (DUP), (23 October 2006)

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Text: Ian Paisley... Page compiled: Martin Melaugh

'No Deal Without Delivery', Statement by Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), (23 October 2006)


"Last week in St Andrews, I made it clear that the proposed Agreement belonged to the British and Irish Governments and that the Democratic Unionist Party would make no final judgment upon its contents until we carried out our pledge to consult widely with the Party and the community. This consultation has now begun.

Whilst the proposed St Andrews Agreement contains considerable advances for unionism, it is far from a done deal. The St Andrews Agreement is a work in progress. Important aspects of the St Andrews Agreement such as the institutions and structures of evolved government, a financial package and equality and fairness measures for the unionist people, require more effort. I and my colleagues have been working on these issues all week and will continue to do so in the days ahead.

Negotiations are ongoing and the DUP will not be satisfied with second best. That is why we will not be repeating the mistakes of the Ulster Unionist Party who time and time again took the Government and IRA/Sinn Fein on trust alone. The DUP demands delivery. If there is no delivery, then there will be no deal.

The DUP has consistently said that the government of Northern Ireland can only contain those parties who are committed to purely peaceful and democratic means and who support the Police and the rule of law. Unless republicans prove that all terrorism and crime has ended, the IRA has gone for good and that they support the Police, the Courts and the justice system in both word and deed, then progress will not occur. These things must happen up front. We will not be jumping first like David Trimble and Reg Empey.

The importance of the issue of policing should not be underestimated. Nothing can be done until there is delivery on policing. Sinn Fein must demonstrate its support for the Police before anything happens. If Sinn Fein is having difficulties in getting their people to support the Police then they should go to the Government and ask for more time, because there is no question of the DUP accepting anything less than their full support for the rule of law.

The DUP has secured in law via the Northern Ireland (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2006 a veto over the devolution of policing and justice powers. The proposal cannot come to the Assembly without the approval of the First Minister and can only be passed in the Assembly by a cross-community vote which requires the support of over 50% of unionists. In both circumstances, the DUP has a veto.

The Government too must live up to its promises. The commitments it has made must be legislated for or else there will be no devolution.

Democracy must be the bedrock of devolution. As an avowed democrat, I will not be lowering my standards. It is up to others to measure up to the pre-requisites of democracy. I want to see peace and prosperity for our Province but peace and prosperity can only be built upon the foundation of democracy."


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