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Statement by Reg Empey on the resumption of devolved government in Northern Ireland, Stormont, Belfast, (8 May 2007)



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Text: Reg Empey... Page compiled: Martin Melaugh

Statement by Reg Empey, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), on the resumption of devolved government in Northern Ireland, Stormont, Belfast, (8 May 2007)

 

"The UUP believes that the union offers the most progressive constitutional, social and economic future for every region of the United Kingdom and for all of us in Northern Ireland. We are delighted therefore that after years of stalemate and false starts, the people of Northern Ireland now have a government of their own.

The mission of the Ulster Unionist Party in the months and years ahead, as we rebuild and reform, is to demonstrate that unionism and politics in general is not about a sectarian power-grab.

We intend to work with other parties of the centre to offer an alternative to the Sinn Fein/DUP axis; an axis built around carve-up and party political self-interest. It will not be in the long term interests of Northern Ireland to sustain an arrangement of this sort. I think voters in future will want a choice based on social and economic issues in short normal politics in Northern Ireland. In future Administrations parties of a like mind can, and Im sure will, offer alternative coalitions.

We will be using our position in the Executive and the Assembly to put Northern Ireland first. With 55% of the total Stormont budget in our two Departments, we now have a unique opportunity.

We must bring government closer to the people of Northern Ireland, making government better serve the people of Northern Ireland. Making the Union work for all of us in Northern Ireland and making the UUP a real centre ground alternative to what is currently on offer."

 


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