Jim Allister warns Sir Jeffrey Donaldson: You have 50 days to keep your word on ‘D-Day’

TUV leader Jim Allister has sought to heap pressure on his DUP counterpart by warning he has 50 days to deliver on threats to collapse Stormont.

Saturday, 11th September 2021, 6:01 pm
TUV leader Jim Allister at Parliament Buildings in Belfast. Picture date: Thursday June 17, 2021.

Earlier this week, DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson threatened to pull his party’s ministers out of the Northern Ireland Executive — a move that would crash the devolved powersharing administration — unless action is taken on the protocol.

And, in a radio interview with the BBC on Friday, Sir Jeffrey said such action could happen unless there is movement from the UK government on the protocol by the end of October.

Today, Mr Allister has sought to add pressure to his unionist rivals.

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Speaking at a TUV event in South Antrim, the party leader said: “Organised Unionism has overall moved forward in opposing the Union-dismantling Protocol, though, sadly, the UUP has lost its way and slipped backwards.

“From [an] ill-considered start of speaking of ‘opportunities’ within the Protocol and despising those who wished to keep fighting it, the DUP’s rhetoric has radically changed. Now, with them the issue is proof through delivery.”

He also had unkind words for the UUP, saying: “The UUP, so besotted with chasing an Alliance vote, is now talking their language of acquiescence and bizarrely thinks the answer to the trashing of our East-West links is more North-Southery. Dear help us!”

He continued: “Broader loyalism gets it and has stood firm, putting many elected unionist politicians to shame.

“TUV has led the way in relentless opposition to the Protocol and will not weaken. As the News Letter editorial on Friday acknowledged it was TUV that straightaway recognised the Protocol for what it is. If we have helped galvanise others into a change of tact then so much the better, because make no mistake this Protocol is so destructive of the Union that either it goes or the Union goes - it has already taken out Article 6!”

He added: “Thus, equally, the immutable reality is that if the price of Stormont is implementing such self-destruction, then no unionist who cares for more than their salary should be conflicted about what needs to happen.

“I am grateful that realisation may have dawned on some. Now, our job is to keep them to their word. It is 50 days until Jeffrey Donaldson’s promised D Day. Then, we will all see and know what DUP words are worth. If an election follows, good. TUV is ready!”