From Sir Jeffrey Donaldson <[email protected]>
Subject Make your voice heard
Date September 9, 2023 6:59 AM
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Be active and be involved in promoting our place in the Union.

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Good morning John

I hope that you have been able to enjoy some time over the Summer period with family, friends and those who are important to you. Life is precious and it is important that from time to time we pause and re-focus on things that matter most.

Yesterday marked the last day of public service for our friend and colleague David Hilditch ([link removed]) who stepped down from the Northern Ireland Assembly having first been elected to it in 1998. David is one of only three MLAs first elected to the new Assembly in June 1998 and who until yesterday remained. We thank David for his service and dedication over thirty-two years in both local government and the Assembly and wish him well as he takes time to fight illness and focus on family.

This week DUP MPs and Lords returned to Parliament for what promises to be a busy Autumn season of political activity.

Northern Ireland business remains high on the political agenda and for our part we approach the coming period focused on the need to bring about outcomes that are good for Northern Ireland and which set the direction of travel for the foreseeable future.

The passing of the Legacy Bill ([link removed][0]=AZWdggEF7fqVyZH6oha52J7B_ARHHn4qQmerOC2DlI9BVUeI-ZaP976XIyluOoWkH5UqTrRRp00QYxKDV_P67XgdtlrPMu1a2okI9_DigtheM67RpPhxmZ0tbKBlkzlYiHEC7R3bJ0sea61tj7X2eD19EtzIj5nM1_J5j7a01YEJyFD7403VsE36MzhSMCQPTPY&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R) marks a dark moment for innocent victims of the Troubles. The Government’s decision to force it through despite unanimous opposition in Northern Ireland is morally wrong. We will continue to argue that access to justice must always been open and it may be the case that after a General Election the situation will be reversed.

While the local political institutions are not yet re-established, we are nonetheless continuing to engage in discussions with the UK Government to try to bring about the fair and sustainable conditions that are necessary to get the Assembly and Executive functioning. However, this can only happen when Northern Ireland’s position within the United Kingdom is both respected and protected in law.

There has been much talk over the last number of days and months about the “inevitability of a United Ireland”. It emanates, in the main, from those who are trying to create a false narrative and who want to sell a false bill of goods, but also from some who having heard the narrative so often of late they begin to believe it. It is hogwash sold by snake-oil salespeople.

Support for Northern Ireland within the Union remains strong and the benefits are clear. As advocates for the Union, we need to do more to highlight those benefits which flow from our economic, social and cultural ties with England, Scotland and Wales.

There is nothing inevitable about the destruction of Northern Ireland and the end of the Union. That is not to say that the Northern Ireland of 2023 is the same as it was decades ago and that we can afford the luxury of preaching to the converted and not making the case to those who may not ordinarily describe themselves as Pro-Union.

In all that we do our guiding objective must be to bring about outcomes and resolutions that strengthen and safeguard Northern Ireland’s integral place in the United Kingdom. And that is what we will do.

There is much to do and as political activities and meetings commence, I urge you to get involved and make your voice heard. Be active and be involved.


Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP
DUP Leader

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