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Statement by Reg Empey on the recalling of the Northern Ireland Assembly, (6 April 2006)

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Text: Reg Empey ... Page compiled: Brendan Lynn

Statement by Reg Empey, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), on the recalling of the Northern Ireland Assembly, (6 April 2006)


"I welcome an apparently definitive line being drawn in the sand. We, as elected politicians, have a duty to work, legislate and make key decisions for the electorate. The current stasis, interminable political dribbling and rounds of discussions must be brought to a close. We urgently need to have an input into and make changes to Direct Rule decisions on Education, Water Rates and the Review of Public Administration to name but three. This is our job. It is what we are paid and what we are elected to do. Ulster Unionists will positively engage with parties and government during the recall period.

However, Unionists have never responded to any form of blackmail whether it was from the IRA or Government. Nevertheless a serious threat clearly exists to our future which Unionists will have to address with imagination in the coming months.

Warnings by Ulster Unionists about the possibility of ‘joint management’ of Northern Ireland by both governments has been confirmed in paragraph 10 of the joint statement.

This statement confirms the complete failure of DUP policy. There is clearly a renewed commitment from both London and Dublin to the implementation of the Agreement, with or without devolution.

While threats clearly exist as a result of this statement, so do opportunities for Unionists. It will be our job to ensure that it is the opportunities and not the threats that are seized in the coming months."


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