I was on the panel at the rally in Portadown (Ben Lowry: ‘Loyalist protest meeting in Portadown against Boris Johnson’s Betrayal Act was packed and angry,’ November 23, and ‘David McNarry: A crescendo of demands for counter action,’ Nov 27 and letter Nov 27) to contribute and listen to the genuine concerns from unionists at this latest Betrayal Act
It was clear from the packed audience that there is a lot of anger within the unionist community towards the Tory Brexit deal.
As I stated in the meeting, it is bad economically and constitutionally for Northern Ireland.
It will add more bureaucracy and costs to business, create barriers and will give Dublin more powers and involvement in this part of the UK.
Whilst there were those at the rally suggesting various options to show our anger I made it clear that unionism, especially since the Anglo Irish Agreement in 1985, has always been reactionary with little strategy. Strikes, rallies, civil disorder has not worked in stopping the constant attacks on our Britishness.
The Conservatives have never done unionism in Northern Ireland any favours and it is high time we realise this and keep an open mind after the December 12.
The unionist family should sit around a table and agree a way forward that will be of the benefit to Northern Ireland and that may mean some very difficult decisions.
We must also bear in mind that there are fellow country men and woman who are Catholics but wish to be part of a prosperous Northern Ireland within the UK.
As I stated in the meeting, we have great unionists within the various parties and ordinary non political unionists across NI and there is more to unite us than divides us so a vision is needed urgently from the grassroots up.
Paul Berry, Tandragee