Arlene Foster: ‘Vital NI unionist voice is heard in US’

DUP leader Arlene Foster. Photo: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
DUP leader Arlene Foster. Photo: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

It is vital that Northern Ireland’s unionist voice is heard in the United States, Arlene Foster has said.

Speaking from Washington DC, the DUP leader said she will be spending the next few days “briefing a range of key influencers and organisations” across the capital where much of the focus is on the UK’s exit from the EU.

Mrs Foster said: “It is important that they hear a positive message from Northern Ireland and that the unionist perspective is outlined within the United States.

“There is a great deal of focus on Northern Ireland currently as we move towards the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. I will be briefing people about how we are striving for a sensible deal which works for every part of the United Kingdom as well as our neighbours in the Republic of Ireland. It is important that Dublin and Brussels are in deal-making mode.”

Mrs Foster added: “This is a week in Washington where the voice of a functioning Northern Ireland Executive should be heard. Many in DC have a keen interest in Northern Ireland. They should be aware that one party alone is blocking the restoration of devolution and preventing local decisions being taken in Northern Ireland.

“For two years Sinn Fein have been putting their own narrow interests ahead of schools, hospitals, roads and our economy. We would restore Stormont tomorrow without preconditions.”

The DUP leader went on to say: “Whilst Sinn Fein focus on a narrow agenda in Northern Ireland, I will be relaying the frustration amongst people of all backgrounds about a lack of devolution. It is important that decision makers within the United States hear more than just another tired call for a divisive border poll.”