AS we await the fourth (and final?) act of IRA decommissioning, Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey has threatened to introduce sanctions – his party will refuse to co-operate with North-South bodies set up under the Agreement – if Northern Irish politicians are granted speaking rights in the Irish parliament, the Dail.
Sir Reg said:
“As you may recall when the deal with Sinn Fein was not completed last December, I said this was outside the terms of the Good Friday Agreement and it was a breach of the principle that the consent of the majority of the people of Northern Ireland would be required before there is any change to our constitutional status.
“I believe this move is very dangerous because it would effectively be setting up an embryonic all-Ireland Parliament.
“When the idea was first mooted two years ago, the UUP opposed it. We told the two governments then and have repeatedly since that if it is pursued by Dublin, we will no longer be obligated to our support for north south institutions.”