Thursday, August 04, 2005

"We will give Reg Empey seven days to admit his part" - Robinson

The row between the UUP and the DUP about the existence of an agreement over the right of Northern Irish MPs and MEPs to speak in the Irish Dail has escallated yesterday with DUP Peter Robinson accusing Reg Empey, the UUP leader, of hypocracy: "It is especially hypocritical of Reg Empey to try to pass the buck on the plan to allow Northern Ireland MPs and MEPs to debate in a committee of the Irish parliament given the role he and his party had in that plan. Mr Empey claims that the DUP was asleep at the wheel when this matter came forward. To enable the unionist community to determine who had nodded off, the only fact that needs to be determined is whose hands were on the wheel when this issue was negotiated. We will give Reg Empey seven days to admit his part in it or we will publish the evidence." More here
"We challenge Reg Empey to deny that the proposal he now condemns arose directly from discussions in April of 1998 of which he was a part as a senior UUP negotiator. The recommendation from the Dail Committee on the Constitution is now over two years old and was made while he and David Trimble were leading negotiations with Sinn Fein. Interestingly, when the proposal was first publicised on the BBC News website on 21st March 2002, Reg Empey – who now claims this is an embryonic united Ireland – did not say one word about it. Indeed not one member of the UUP uttered a word. There was not a single complaint from the UUP about the issue. There was no complaint because the UUP was a party to the proposal. Now the UUP are attempting to blame the DUP for the crime they committed. Furthermore, a letter to Dr Paisley dated the 7th December 2004 from the Prime Minister Tony Blair states clearly that “I understand that they [the proposals] originated before any negotiations with the DUP began. They have formed no part of the discussions in which you and your party have participated”.

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