Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:
“Arlene Foster’s tweet that “solid progress” is being made in the talks with Sinn Fein should concern all Unionists. It has been clear for months that resolution can only happen if the DUP perform a monumental climbdown on Irish, with all the ramifications that will have for the British identity of Northern Ireland and the ability of non-Irish speakers to obtain employment in the Civil Service.
“It’s less than a fortnight since Sammy Wilson told us that a so-called “Culture Act” was off the table. Has that now changed or are the DUP prepared to concede an Irish Language Act without even the fig leaf of a name change?
“Having brashly decreed it would not “feed the crocodile” and that it was “Never, Never, Never” to an Irish Language Act, the DUP is clearly weakening its stance and readying to pay the price.
“And for what? O’Neill’s telling comments this morning – “the North isn’t British” – show that Sinn Fein would continue to use its position in government to destroy the place it governs. If things are patched up for now by way of a sellout what will they bring Stormont down over the next time?
“If Stormont came back tomorrow it would be gone again over Brexit in a few months unless Sinn Fein get their demand of “special status” and move the border to the Irish Sea.
“It’s time Unionists woke up to the reality that Stormont has become a ratchet for stripping us of our Britishness. It needs fundamental, democratic reform or it should go. It is time for the DUP to put principle before payroll.”