Make up your own minds on justice deal, says Peter Robinson
Published 20/02/2010 | 00:37
DUP leader Peter Robinson has urged his voters to make up their own minds on the landmark policing deal with Sinn Fein, as he launched a new leaflet outlining the agreement.
The document will be distributed to 100,000 households in the coming days as part of the DUP's attempt to establish whether the wider unionist community is happy with the settlement.
The First Minister asked people not to prejudge the settlement on the basis of the negative comments from its detractors and instead read it for themselves and come to their own view.
“Unlike other parties who talk down to people or tell them what they should think, we are happy to submit our efforts to the good judgment of the people of Northern Ireland,” Mr Robinson said.
“In launching our leaflet on the Hillsborough Castle Agreement, we are providing people with information that will allow them to make an informed decision on the document.”
The deal struck between the DUP and Sinn Fein after two weeks of negotiations should see the devolution of policing and justice powers to the Stormont administration by April 12.
The agreement also laid out plans for an overhaul of the system for overseeing controversial parades to allow for greater local involvement in securing accommodations.
With the Assembly due to vote on the plan on March 9, the SDLP and Ulster Unionists are yet to be convinced by the proposals.
Jim Allister’s Traditional Unionist Voice has rejected it outright.
Mr Robinson said the leaflet would give people the chance to see that a good deal had been achieved. “This agreement represents the best way forward for Unionism,” he said.
“My message to the people is clear: read the document and make up your own mind, don't allow others to make it up for you.”