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October 13, 2006

Reg Empey News Conf Comments on UPP Blog

Sir Reg Empey :: Friday, October 13, 2006 - 5:27 PM

news conference comments

When we arrived here we outlined the two key issues: whether Sinn Fein would sign up to policing and recognise the Institutions of law and order, whether the Ian Paisley would share power with Sinn Fein under the terms of the Belfast Agreement, slightly tweaked.

There appears to have been huge shifts in position from Sinn Fein and the DUP.

Sinn Fein will sign up to the PSNI being the only force of law and order and Ian Paisley or a colleague will share the joint office of First and Deputy First Minister with Martin McGuinness in a mandatory coalition.

This is the Belfast Agreement for slow learners.

What have the last 8 years of turmoil in unionism been about? A few minor operational tweaks here and there to the Agreement?

People in Northern Ireland want their local politicians take charge and send the Direct Rule Ministers home with their unpopular green tinged policies. We are getting closer to this.

We exist to maintain and promote an inclusive Union. We want to make Northern Ireland work so that a new generation of young people do not have to go through the turmoil that we did.

We will return home now to consult our colleagues, but having taken the defining decision to share government with SF there is little point in Ian Paisley refusing to talk directly to his partners in government.
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