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DUP leader Arlene Foster 'would not assimilate' in a united Ireland



Arlene Foster (Yui Mok/PA)

Arlene Foster (Yui Mok/PA)

Press Association Images

Arlene Foster (Yui Mok/PA)

DUP leader Arlene Foster has said she would not “assimilate” in a united Ireland if it occurred, but stressed Irish unity “is not going to happen”.

The former First Minister previously told Patrick Kielty in a BBC documentary about the Good Friday Agreement that if a united Ireland happened she would not be able to continue living here.

She told Kielty: “If it were to happen, I’m not sure that I would be able to continue to live here. I would feel so strongly about it. I would probably have to move."

Asked again if she still felt the same way after having time to reflect on the matter, Mrs Foster told BBC Radio Ulster's Inside Politics:  “I was clearly saying I didn’t think it was going to happen. I still believe it is not going to happen and therefore they were very much hypothetical responses.

She added: “There are three things that you can do if there was to be a united Ireland, which lets be very clear, there isn’t going to be.

“You can either stay and assimilate into an all-Ireland state, which is frankly not attractive for me as a unionist because I believe in the United Kingdom. It is where I want to be as a citizen, it is my identity,

“You can stay and try to resist, which I don’t agree with either, because if people have voted democratically to leave, then that should be respected. Or you can leave.

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“Those were the three options that were available to anybody and that is what I was reflecting.

“But to be very clear, it is not going to happen. I think the polls have underlined that.

"I spent a considerable time at the Balmoral Show this week and I think people are very clear they want to stay in a United Kingdom.”

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