Belfast Telegraph

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

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.

“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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