The Orange Order has got unionism to unite against the Northern Ireland Protocol

A letter from Tom Ferguson:

Monday, 6th December 2021, 10:32 am
Updated Monday, 6th December 2021, 10:35 am
Letter to the editor

I wholeheartedly agree with RG McDowell’s letter (‘Unionist pressure should come before protocol talks, not after,’ Dec 3, see link below). Political unionism, with the exception of that voice in the wilderness, Jim Allister, was caught flat footed on the issue of the NI Protocol. Thanks to the good offices of the Orange Order, all of the unionist parties have committed to the removal of the protocol. This is indeed a welcome (though somewhat belated) forward step.

However, having achieved this, now is the time to look what is to replace the protocol. We have been told that the protocol is to save the Good Friday Agreement and its various subsequent variations, so clearly if the protocol is to disappear, so must the current NI system of government.

So what structures of government are unionists willing to accept? The current structures that equal the protocol and are clearly corrupt and unworkable. Where else can a party of government flagrantly break the law and still stay in power? Sadly, this is only one glaring example in a litany of almost perpetual indecision and bad government. Surely now is the time for the establishment of a forum where political, social, cultural and other strands of unionism can bring their ideas and hopefully formulate a settlement that will give us government according to democratic norms for all creeds and classes in our province.

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The Orange Order has achieved a significant breakthrough by getting all strands of political unionism to unite in opposition to the protocol, perhaps they could use their good offices to allow unionism to chart a replacement to the current corrupt and unworkable political structures in addition to the removal of the Union destroying protocol.

Then for a change unionism would would be setting the agenda and campaigning unitedly, not only for the removal of the protocol, but for a genuinely democratic replacement to the omnishambles that is the current Stormont structures,

Tom Ferguson, Ballymoney

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