Belfast Telegraph

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson: 'A united Ireland is not going to happen'

In the wake of reaction to comments from DUP leader Arlene Foster saying she would consider leaving Northern Ireland in the event of a united Ireland DUP MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has reiterated "a United Ireland is not going to happen".

Speaking on the BBC documentary by Patrick Kielty's called 'My Dad, The Peace Deal And Me', when asked about the possibility of a united Ireland, Mrs Foster said: "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."

On Friday, Sir Jeffrey said that there was no realistic prospect of a united Ireland.

“As Arlene Foster pointed out in the Patrick Kielty programme, “a united Ireland is not going to happen,” the Lagan Valley MP said.

"It was a hypothetical question as there is no realistic prospect of a united Ireland. Mrs Foster was reflecting how the Protestant population dwindled in the Republic of Ireland after partition. Those with a British identity did not feel welcome.

"Sinn Fein spins to unionists that they would be welcome in a united Ireland yet when unionists look at how SF controlled Councils treat unionists currently within Northern Ireland there is a very different reality.

"Sinn Fein blocks armed forces recruitment days, wouldn't present awards to teenagers in the cadet forces, won't allow the Union Flag to fly a few days per year, relegate English to a second language, celebrate PIRA murderers, mock PIRA victims, snub the Royal Family and ban the sale of poppies. The list goes on. Sinn Fein’s actions speak louder than their words."

Sir Jeffrey said that Mrs Foster pointed out advantages of the union with Great Britain in footage that was cut from the show.

"Whilst not broadcast on the programme, Arlene rightly pointed to the strong arguments for the Union whether the economy or our fantastic and invaluable National Health Service," he said.

"Over the coming months, the DUP leadership will travel to every corner of Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom promoting the benefits of the Union. 

"It is always useful to debate and refresh the minds of the next generation as to why Northern Ireland’s place within the Union is so important whether from an historical, cultural, economic, social or security point of view.”

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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