We must be driven by making NI the best it can be

DUP Deputy Leader Gavin Robinson MP was the guest speaker in East Antrim Democratic Unionist Association and urged supporters to remember that every action we take must be driven by making Northern Ireland the best it can be for its people.

By Gavin Robinson MP

Belfast East

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During his remarks Mr Robinson said,

Border Poll

“Northern Ireland has the potential to be an economic powerhouse yet there are some who want to waste energy agitating for a divisive border poll. We must be in the business of making Northern Ireland work and focus on the common good.

Those who believe that a united Ireland is just over the hill and that Northern Ireland within the Union will cease to exist, are entirely wrong. They are pressing a case which serves only to stir up division and drive electoral turnout in their republican base.

Most people just want to get on with their lives. They don’t wake up in the morning with constitutional change on their minds. In any case, by making the right choices now, we will secure the Union for generations to come. But that means being alive to demographic and political change.

Every action we take in Westminster, Stormont and Local Government must be driven by making Northern Ireland even more successful. The most persuasive case for the Union is a prosperous Northern Ireland where people are happy to live, work and raise their family.

Now is the time to make sure that the conditions for a border poll are never satisfied by ensuring people see and understand the benefits of living here. Whilst the case for leaving the UK is based on economic myths and fantasy, our over-riding objective must always be to make Northern Ireland work, to deliver prosperity, and to thrive as a valued constituent part of the United Kingdom.


This week there has been rank hypocrisy in some quarters on legacy. This Party has consistently worked to protect victims’ access to justice yet in 1998 justice was corrupted when the prison doors were opened and those guilty of horrific crimes were allowed to walk free.

I have consistently opposed all corruptions of justice at every stage of the peace process. Access to justice is fundamental to me. But the Belfast Agreement parties need to explain how the legacy actions flowing from that agreement are consistent with international Rights Frameworks. The early release scheme corrupted justice. On-the-run letters corrupted justice. Measures taken to encourage information retrieval on the “disappeared” corrupt justice.

Indeed, the Irish Government, without a hint of embarrassment, lecture London about legacy whilst to this day denying the Omagh Bomb victims a public inquiry in their own jurisdiction. There needs to be more honesty in this debate.

Unionism Working Together

When unionism works together in Councils or in the Assembly or at leadership, we are at our strongest. This does not mean we will agree on every issue but that we can find commonality and a unity of purpose on the matters that draw us together.

We need only look at the Ministerial portfolios in Stormont to see the consequences of divided unionism. A handful of votes in North Antrim is the difference between an Alliance Minister and another unionist Minister. We must realise that who we back on the ballot paper has consequences. Fractured unionism cost seats, and influence

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