John McCallister has asked a Sinn Fein conference in London to embrace the constitutional position of Northern Ireland in the same way that 175,000 Irish people have embraced the UK’s capital city.
The NI21 deputy leader told Saturday’s event that republicans’ campaign for a border poll was “distinctly odd”.
He said: “One of republicanism’s founding principles - the belief in popular sovereignty - is an honourable principle.
“The referenda on the Good Friday Agreement were an act of popular sovereignty. “
The institutions of the Belfast Agreement are sustained by “the overwhelming consent of the people of the island of Ireland” he said, with a recent poll showing only 3.8 per cent of people in Northern Ireland urgently want a united Ireland.
Mr McCallister also challenged Sinn Fein about its refusal to even use the words ‘Northern Ireland’ in its publicity material for Saturday’s conference.
Over 175,000 Irish people live and work in London, he said, adding: “London GAA and London Irish are testimony to the presence of the Irish in this city. This vibrant, dynamic city demonstrates what I believe the Union is about.”
He urged Sinn Fein to build “a Northern Ireland for all, in the new Ireland and in a new era in the history of these islands”.