From Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP <[email protected]>
Subject We have taken the right course of action
Date February 17, 2024 7:59 AM
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Good morning, John
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Watch our Party Political Broadcast which aired this week - Join the team and play your part.

“When I was elected leader of the Democratic Unionist Party in July 2021, I pledged to lead our party, and with the support of the electorate, wider unionism with confidence, determination, and purpose, so that we could sell the benefits of the Union to everyone in Northern Ireland.

Following the agreement negotiated between us and the UK Government and the Assembly and Executive being re-established we once again have the opportunity to locally shape the issues that impact on our everyday lives. I am pleased that whilst far from perfect, the progress we made with the Government, has allowed us to re-set the political balance in Northern Ireland and has provided a basis for unionism to move forward.

I welcome the debate and exchange of ideas that has taken place within Unionism on the outcome of the deal with the UK Government. Right from the outset no-one has been more critical of the position Unionists were placed in by our own Government than the DUP. However, the truth is that we cannot on the one hand be in a perpetual war with the UK Government and yet through our own actions say we are content to hand every lever of governance to the same UK Government.

Never again must we be in the position where the opinion of unionism is disregarded, or that political decisions are taken above the heads of the people of Northern Ireland which in turn de-stabilises the delicate political balances within Northern Ireland.

The deal we secured did not achieve everything we would have wished for but it did make very significant gains for us and more importantly for Northern Ireland. Politics is about the art of the possible and for our part we will continue to campaign and argue for further change in the time ahead.
I passionately believe that the decisions and actions we have taken are the right course of action for Northern Ireland. I am confident that we are now in a position where we can make the case to broaden and deepen the support for Northern Ireland’s place in the United Kingdom. 

Following the publication of the “Safeguarding the Union” agreement I have commenced a series of meetings across Northern Ireland to engage with and share my vision for the Union as we move forward confidently. This week I have been in Newtownards, South Belfast and in my own constituency meeting with individuals and groups, including grassroots unionists and loyalists to talk to them about the agreement we have reached and the next steps in our plan to promote the Union.

I have been overwhelmed with the new sense of energy, engagement and emerging confidence that is present in our community. There is no doubt that unionists are recognising that getting the Assembly and the Executive functioning again was the right thing to do. But they are also recognising that the time for complaining from the side-lines is over and that unionists must work together as we sell the benefits of our union.

Over the next number of weeks, I will be travelling the length and breadth of Northern Ireland doing just that. I have a confident, positive message and a plan for delivering what needs to be done. I have no doubt that the wider unionist community is ready to play its part as we build an even larger coalition of support for making Northern Ireland work within the Union. That’s our plan and that is what we will do.”

Thank you,

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP
DUP Leader

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