Mike Nesbitt confirms UUP are going into Opposition

Mike Nesbitt has just told the Assembly that the UUP will be a part of the Northern Ireland Assembly’s first official opposition.

He has told MLAs that his Assembly group unanimously backed the move and concluded with the words “let the battle commence”

Full statement from Mike Nesbitt;

“We asked for a mandate to enter the talks on the next Programme for Government, promising that if either of our two tests were not met, we would form an Official Opposition.

“Those tests were whether it was a progressive Programme and secondly, whether we sensed a will from the DUP and Sinn Féin to lead collective delivery.

“On Tuesday, it became clear the Programme for Government will not be finalised until the end of the year, seven months away. On that basis, our primary test of whether it is a progressive Programme for Government, has failed.

“Our second test was whether we sensed a will to collectively deliver the Programme and that has also failed, as it is clear the DUP and Sinn Féin will retain joint ownership of the Programme for Government.

“Given the evidence that little is about to change, and we face another five years of DUP / Sinn Féin carve up and mutual veto, we are convinced the right thing to do for the country is to forego our entitlements in government and establish an Official Opposition, to both scrutinise the work of the next Executive and offer the electorate something different next time around.

“The decision to go into Opposition was taken unanimously by the Ulster Unionist Assembly Group earlier today.

“This heralds a new era for devolved politics at Stormont, and a big, bold step forward to normal democracy for Northern Ireland.”


Discover more from Slugger O'Toole

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

We are reader supported. Donate to keep Slugger lit!

For over 20 years, Slugger has been an independent place for debate and new ideas. We have published over 40,000 posts and over one and a half million comments on the site. Each month we have over 70,000 readers. All this we have accomplished with only volunteers we have never had any paid staff.

Slugger does not receive any funding, and we respect our readers, so we will never run intrusive ads or sponsored posts. Instead, we are reader-supported. Help us keep Slugger independent by becoming a friend of Slugger. While we run a tight ship and no one gets paid to write, we need money to help us cover our costs.

If you like what we do, we are asking you to consider giving a monthly donation of any amount, or you can give a one-off donation. Any amount is appreciated.