Responding to comments by US President-Elect Joe Biden that he doesn`t want to see a ‘guarded border’ between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, Ulster Unionist leader, Steve Aiken OBE MLA, said:
“Nobody wants to see a ‘guarded border’ between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. That shouldn`t come as a surprise to anyone as it was a principle established since Brexit negotiations began four years ago. We certainly don`t want to see a border in the Irish Sea either.
“It should also be remembered why a ‘guarded border’ was there in the first place and it was to protect Northern Ireland`s citizens from a vicious terrorist campaign being waged by the IRA while the Republic of Ireland was being used as a launchpad for numerous indiscriminate shootings and bombings.
“I would ask that the incoming Biden administration focuses on the content of what`s actually in the Belfast Agreement. A border down the Irish Sea poses an existential threat to the Agreement itself. This has been repeatedly ignored by the Irish Government and it`s about time that they started respecting the Agreement rather than using it as a weapon during Brexit negotiations.
“We are writing to the Biden transition team so that they get the fullest understanding of the implications of the Northern Ireland Protocol on the Belfast Agreement for all the people of Northern Ireland.”