Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Nicholson rules out participation in the Irish Dail

A communique from the UUP reports that "MEP Jim Nicholson has taken the Irish Government to task over their decision to take steps in September to grant speaking rights in the Irish Parliament to MEPs and MPs from Northern Ireland. Mr Nicholson has pledged to oppose the move and categorically ruled out ever setting foot in the Irish Parliament to participate in Dail debates or committees. In a statement Mr Nicholson said, The decision is deplorable and undermines the constitutional position of Northern Ireland. More here It drives a horse and cart through the principle of consent and must be opposed by Unionists throughout the province. The Unionist community will not tolerate such an aggressive assault on our sovereignty by a jurisdiction, which has been so hostile in the past. The Irish Government, like our own, have capitulated to Sinn Fein's insatiable demands and have undermined any future relationship Unionists may have with Dublin. They have taken Unionist attempts to forge a new relationship with the Republic, based on Northern Ireland's position as an integral part of the UK, and thrown them back in our face. This is not the time for the DUP to engage in political point scoring but for Unionists to unite in opposition to this plan. The DUP's childish attempts to pass the buck and save face are most unhelpful. As the lead party within Unionism, it is a shame they couldn't do more to stop this. Mr Nicholson concluded, Make no mistake, as my Party Leader said at the weekend, we will not hesitate in introducing sanctions should speaking rights be granted in the Autumn."

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