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Joint Authority is already here - Allister

24 February 2010

Speaking in Carrickfergus to East Antrim TUV, Party Leader Jim Allister QC dealt with the issue and threat of ‘joint authority’.

In the course of his remarks Mr Allister said:-

“When politicians are doing something they know they should feel shame about some try to divert attention by setting up straw men that they can wax strong against. And so it is with the DUP and the East Antrim MP, Sammy Wilson. 

“Embedded in government with unrepentant terrorists, delivering their agenda as at Hillsborough on policing and justice, the DUP tries to distract attention by spreading nonsense about the threat of ‘joint authority’ if they didn’t keep their terrorist-inclusive government going.

“So let’s look at this issue of Joint Authority. The reality is that what we have at Stormont, day and daily, is the joint authority of DUP/IRA rule. Such is the iron grip and indignity of their joint authority that Peter Robinson can’t even sign a letter as First Minister without the permission of his co-equal, Martin McGuinness. So, joint authority of that nefarious form is already with us, courtesy of the DUP’s roll-over into government with IRA/Sinn Fein.

“And at Hillsborough we saw it widened out even further. The devolution of policing and justice is supposed to be a Strand One issue, something solely for the UK and NI parties alone. Yet, there was a foreign Prime Minister, Brian Cowen, meddling in the middle of it all, without a whimper of protest from the DUP. Having given us joint authority with IRA/Sinn Fein at Stormont, it seems the DUP has now bought into even wider joint authority!

“Yet these joint authority practitioners are those who have the audacity to maliciously suggest that opponents of their joint rule would deliver Northern Ireland under joint authority with Dublin through British direct rule! If their Belfast Agreement, which they now gleefully implement, means anything, then it means that consent must govern the constitutional change which ‘joint authority’ with Dublin would represent.

“Joint authority is impossible without fundamental breach of the constitutional governance of the UK and so today is no more a threat than it was in 2007 when Ian Paisley concocted it as a figleaf to cover his somersault into government with IRA/Sinn Fein. There was no threatening Plan B then and there is no prospect of joint authority now.”

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NI politics