The resolution of the DUP executive passed yesterday by a reported 90%.”The DUP is always anxious to make progress on a basis that is stable and which can command community confidence. Very significant advances have been made over the years since the DUP was mandated as the voice of unionism and our strategy is still working. We acknowledge that a significant opportunity exists to have devolution returned in a context which can make a real and meaningful improvement in the lives of all the people of Northern Ireland. We wish to advance that prospect consistent with our renewed and strengthened electoral mandate and based on our manifesto pledges.
The Party Officers having consulted widely, weighed up all the relevant matters and reviewed progress on outstanding matters recommend to the Party’s Central Executive Committee that the DUP would support and participate fully in a Northern Ireland Executive if powers were devolved to it on an agreed date in May of this year. Moreover, we are willing to bridge the short gap between now and then with preparatory work including departmental pre-briefings and finalising a Programme for Government.
This firm commitment is offered within an environment where no one, including the government, goes back on any of the advances and commitments made.
It is essential, in order to bring the overwhelming majority of unionists forward with us that all parties – ourselves included – use this short period to raise the level of confidence in the community and instil a positive attitude towards devolution and local control.
While this timetable may not dovetail with the arbitrary one set out by the government everyone will understand that throughout recent years many months have been set aside while republicans were allowed to prepare their support base and adjust to one set of circumstances or another. Unionists are entitled to the same breathing space.”