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East Antrim MLA and Junior Minister Gordon Lyons has said the focus should be on a north-south relationship based on respect rather than a campaign for constitutional change.

Gordon Lyons said,

“The key to constructive north-south relationships is respect for the constitutional position of Northern Ireland being an integral part of the United Kingdom.

Projects such as those announced in the recent RoI budget recognise the two countries’ abilities to advance matters of mutual benefit. The cancer centre in Londonderry stands as a wonderful example of north-south work which helps everyone.

However it would be foolish for any RoI politician to interfere in Northern Ireland’s internal affairs and attempt to campaign for constitutional change. Northern Ireland’s place in the United Kingdom is a matter for the people who live here. As a unionist I will always advocate for Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom as it is best for us economically and socially as well as the historic elements.

Northern Ireland will celebrate its centenary next year and I look forward to its next 100 years and ensuring it is a place everyone can call home. ”