Ulster Unionist leader Robin Swann MLA led a party delegation to meet the Secretary of State in Hillsborough Castle to discuss the Foster/Johnson proposal to put a border in the Irish Sea and the state of talks on devolution.
Mr Swann said:
“We raised our concerns with the Secretary of State about the Foster/Johnson proposal which will put a border down the Irish Sea. It will segregate Northern Ireland from the rest of the United Kingdom. We made clear that Northern Ireland will be left in a state of limbo locked into a perpetual debate where every day will be Brexit day in Northern Ireland. We`ll be voting on it every four years and the Assembly will tear itself apart. This will be highly corrosive for our society, our economy and the Union.
“As for the suggestion from Downing Street sources that Northern Ireland would be subjected to another referendum in the event of the Assembly not being restored, we need to hear a clear statement from the Government kicking that idea into touch. Based on what we are looking at now, it looks like we could be leaving the EU on the 31 October without a deal which is totally unacceptable and highly damaging to Northern Ireland and the Union.
“There is nothing positive to say about the state of talks which are meant to focus on restoring devolution. I see no signs of active and meaningful engagement going on behind the scenes. That is very unfortunate given the instability which our hospitals, schools and businesses face. If there`s active engagement between the DUP and Sinn Fein, they`re keeping it to themselves.”