I write following a debate in the House of Commons on October 27 organised by my party on parading in Northern Ireland. My party cares very deeply about parades in Northern Ireland which severely affect the loyal orders.
For far too long we have seen a tide of resistance, led by Sinn Fein, seeking to stop parades, along with the dilution of all senses of Britishness in this part of the United Kingdom. We must fight back. My party is adamantly opposed to any campaign by Sinn Fein to halt parades organised by the loyal orders. We are also opposed to the dilution of Britishness in this part of the UK.
The people of Ulster are some of the most loyal subjects of this country and we should be entitled to the same rights as those on the UK Mainland.
Orangemen have a right to parade and many of the routes these men take have been walked for hundreds of years. Neither Sinn Fein nor the Parades Commission has any right to get involved in parading. It is a fundamental human right which many fought for along with the freedom of speech, religion and thought.
Parading is an issue that the NIO and Whitehall still have control over through the Parades Commission. We as a party want to put an end to this injustice and see democratic principles prevail instead of allowing an unelected and quango dictate rules. I am calling on our Government to understand the sense of dilution that has been going on in relation to unionist history, identity and culture in Northern Ireland, muchof which is shared with the rest of Britain.
IRIS ROBINSON MP
House of Commons