According to Bimpe Fatogun, Mark Durkan has tried to allay Unionist fears of being pulled into a United Ireland by suggesting that getting local institutions into a functioning and agreed state is more important that questions of sovereignty:
The SDLP has made it clear in the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation that we want to develop a clear understanding that the agreement, with all the arrangements, assurances and accommodations that it offers, will endure whatever the outcome of any future referendum.
We can hardwire the agreement into a united Ireland. It is important to affirm that the consensus politics of the agreement will endure so that people have no fear that its principles and protections will be lost to census politics.
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