[Q]2. Will the Conservative’s partnership with one local party not be more likely to destabilise the fragile political relationships within the NI Executive and Stormont Assembly than promote “normal politics”? If you win the next General Election, how will you prevent accusations that the other parties will make that the Ulster Unionists are using and abusing their inside knowledge of the government for their own political gain?
[A]2. The Conservative Party in government will never side with one part of the community over another. We will govern in the best interests of all the people. The constitutional position of Northern Ireland has been settled by a clear majority of voters in referenda on both sides of the border. Frankly, it is a cop-out to suggest that Northern Ireland is permanently divided and the Government’s role in perpetuity is to simply hold the ring as an “honest broker”. It is an unacceptably pessimistic prescription. We have a more positive vision and are determined to play our part in developing a more normal society and real politics in Northern Ireland.