Reacting to comments by former DUP leader Peter Robinson that Northern Ireland should prepare for the possibility of a united Ireland, Ulster Unionist Party Chair, Lord Empey said:
“Peter Robinson`s comments that Northern Ireland should make preparations for the possibility of a united Ireland will be music to the ears of both the Republic of Ireland`s Government and Irish Republicans in general. After his last outburst at Queens University where he called for a divisive border poll to be held every generation destabilising Northern Ireland in the process, he now trumps that with this. He is becoming a Sinn Fein echo chamber. This is not strategic thinking, rather it`s the latest in a long line of proposals from Peter Robinson that are detrimental to Northern Ireland whether that be the St Andrews Agreement, the terrorist shrine at the Maze or the DUP inspired HIU, cooked up under the Stormont House Agreement, which will be a parallel police force.
“Arlene Foster needs to make her position clear on Peter Robinson`s comments. Does she agree with his analysis or will she completely disassociate herself and her party from his comments?
“It is truly hard to fathom that a former senior unionist could be coming out with these sorts of comments when our national Government is in the middle of intense negotiations about the UK`s departure from the EU, where the EU and the Republic`s Government are using Northern Ireland as a political football to try and leverage more concessions from the United Kingdom. Peter Robinson is playing into the hands of our country`s opponents.
“The focus should be on getting the best deal for Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom in the Brexit negotiations, and getting the devolved institutions at Stormont restored, rather than having people like Peter Robinson coming out with this nonsense.
“His house insurance analogy is facile.”