David Campbell: Pan nationalist front should help press for a trade deal with EU

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

Michelle O’Neill’s comments on behalf of the new pan-nationalist front of Sinn Fein, SDLP, Alliance and Green Party that the Brexit backstop is the only way to protect the Belfast Agreement is abject nonsense.

The fact that she does not elaborate or explain why the Agreement is at threat in the absence of a backstop shows the contempt in which she holds the general public.

Are we not entitled to an explanation?

The backstop as envisaged in the draft agreement threatens the integrity of Northern Ireland’s position within the United Kingdom.

I suspect this is the real reason these parties are so keen to see it implemented.

Even Jeremy Corbyn (himself no ardent unionist) has exposed this threat to the United Kingdom and has commendably set his Party against it.

The reality is that the Belfast Agreement is not in any peril, and has been mischievously used by opponents of Brexit and by nationalists to weaken Northern Ireland’s place in the Kingdom.

The agreement provides for sensible working relationships on the island of Ireland and for flexibility in coping with successor arrangements to the European Union or any other institution if they cease to be relevant.

Michelle O’Neill and these parties would be better served putting their energies into pressing for a free-trade relationship with Europe for the whole of the United Kingdom instead of using Brexit to try and advance their brand of nationalism.

David Campbell, Chairman of the Loyalist Communities Council, Co Antrim