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Letters: Trust is crucial in our pursuit of a shared future

The reason for the recurring political impasse at Stormont is due to our divided society and divided loyalties. Politicians should look to the Good Friday Agreement and its attempt to build a shared future. The term "shared future" is bandied about here all the time but to build a truly shared future, the full terms of this concept need to be put on the table.

Unionists and nationalists sharing Northern Ireland means running this country within the context of the United Kingdom, or within the context of a united Ireland if this were to come about through a referendum here.

This second component is often left out of the debate here but its inclusion is vital to build trust between the two communities. Nationalists accept the democratic process which sees them accept sharing power with the unionists in the Union, but if the majority were to change and favour a united Ireland, unionists must show that they would be prepared to accept this.

By putting this component of the democratic process on the table more, unionists would reassure nationalists of the fairness of the process and assuage many fears. This is the only way to start to build trust and a shared future here - when both communities agree that the democratic will of the people should always be honoured.

BRIAN RITCHIE

Lisburn

Belfast Telegraph

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