Northern Ireland Protocol: Open letter from province-wide loyalist groups urges unionist leaders to commit to five-point-test in election

A loyalist umbrella group calling itself “a Union of Unionists” has written an open letter to unionist leaders urging their commitment to five tests to protect the union .

By Philip Bradfield
Friday, 29th April 2022, 9:06 pm
Updated Friday, 29th April 2022, 9:06 pm

The letter says: “As a political leader of unionism we ask you to publicly declare your commitment to these tests, and to support the grassroots campaign to encourage transfers of votes within the unionist family. This can maximise unionist representation in the next Assembly should it transpire that sufficient changes have been made that enables unionism and loyalism to support the restoration of the power-sharing Institutions.” The five tests are:

1. Full restoration of equal constitutional citizenship across the UK.

2. UK, not EU, sovereignty over all UK laws .

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Chairman of the Loyalist Communities Council, David Campbell, was one of the signatories. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker.

3. Restoring the “promised protections” of NI’s constitutional position in the Belfast Agreement.

4. No democratic basis for the election of a non-unionist First Minister if the largest designation of MLAs is unionist, as stated in the original Belfast Agreement .

5. The New Decade New Agreement proposals on Language and Culture far exceed the Belfast Agreement.

The letter was signed by the Greater Shankill Coalition, South Belfast and Lisburn Coalition, East Belfast Coalition, South Londonderry and Randalstown Coalition, Mid-ulster Coalition, East Antrim Coalition, North Belfast Coalition, North Antrim and Londonderry Coalition, North down Coalition, Apprentice Boys of Derry, UVF Memorial Regimental Bands Association, 36th (Ulster) Division Memorial Association, Crown Defenders Band Forum, Unionist Voice Policy Studies, Let’s Talk Loyalism, Loyalist Communities Council.