Doug Beattie claiming the ‘Union is safe’ is wishful thinking

A letter by Thomas Smyth:

By Letters
Tuesday, 29th March 2022, 12:20 pm
Updated Tuesday, 29th March 2022, 12:46 pm
Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

The UUP leader Doug Beattie recently had occasion to reflect on his tweets and apologise for their contents, stressing they do not represent who he is.

Having read his News Letter platform piece (Unionism must fight for NI, not huff in a corner, March 25) I suspect that over the coming years Mr Beattie may once again need to undertake a period of self-reflection and subsequently apologise.

His assertion that “the Union is safe” cannot be reconciled with recent court judgements that confirm that the Act of Union has been “subjugated” by the NI Protocol.

If his wishful thinking is intended to placate unionists concerned about their future then such a tactic is depressingly familiar to that of his predecessor, David (now Lord) Trimble, who sold the 1998 Belfast Agreement by vowing that “the Union is safe”. It has taken Trimble over 20 years to realise that he was mistaken.

Inviting voters to place their trust in him, the current UUP leader asks, “If I am wrong, what has unionism lost?”

The short answer is: the Union itself. Full stop.

Thomas Smyth, Belfast

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