The Ulster Unionist Party’s Chief Whip, Steve Aiken MLA, has responded to French President Emmanuel Macron’s comments that Irish Unification ‘would solve all the problems’.
Steve Aiken OBE MLA said:
“President Macron’s comments are as revealing as they are wrong.
“He said that Irish reunification and integration of the entire island in the EU ‘would solve all the problems but it is not up to France.’
“This reveals a complete ignorance of the unionist position, the Belfast Agreement and the principle of consent, and the fact that a majority of people in Northern Ireland want to see the Union with Great Britain endure. If this is truly the mindset in Brussels and key European capitals then it explains a lot about the Backstop and the real motivation behind it – it is a Trojan Horse for a United Ireland, with a border up the Irish Sea, just as we have been warning.
“I can only imagine the outcry in France if Boris Johnson was to support Corsican independence, so quite why Emmanuel Macron feels he is able to demand the break-up of the United Kingdom as the price of Brexit, I have no idea. He would be better served trying to address the massive protests that have been convulsing much of France rather than making foolish interventions in the constitutional status and integrity of the United Kingdom.
“Furthermore, Irish Unity against the consent of the people of Northern Ireland would certainly not ‘solve all the problems’ as Macron states, but would be an absolute disaster. A United Ireland on those terms would plunge us into a catastrophe, and nobody should be in any doubt about that.
“We are therefore asking the French ambassador to the United Kingdom to clarify the President’s remarks and to state whether or not the break-up of the United Kingdom is now official French policy.”