The leader of Ulster’s newest political party has delivered a pro-Union message direct to a Sinn Fein party meeting.
Those in attendance at the gathering, which was described as a planning day for the party, were largely drawn from Sinn Fein’s ranks of southern politicians, who perhaps “wouldn’t have had much exposure to unionists” said Basil McCrea.
“We put our position across in a robust way, including that Northern Ireland’s future was better placed within the UK,” said Mr McCrea.
Asked how that was received by the deeply republican party, he said: “It was an open and candid conversation, and a useful exchange of views,” adding that unionism “should never be afraid to make its case”.
He and colleague John McCallister were invited to the meeting in Carlingford, just south of the border in Co Louth, which convened on Friday and was attended by Gerry Adams, among others.
He believes they had been invited there probably because Sinn Fein are more familiar with the views of the other parties.
NI21 was formed by the two ex-UUP MLAs earlier this year.