The Assembly spent an another hour and a half debating the result of the referendum and more specifically ‘Northern Ireland and the European Single Market.’
During the course of the debate, many of the same names who were firmly on the remain side banged the drum that they have been wearing out for four months. Indeed, many who have yet to accept the democratic will of the majority of people across the UK continue to believe that Northern Ireland should be treated as a special case..again.
Stephen Farry of Alliance- when commenting on what he referred to as “a landmark vote” in the Assembly said: “There are a number of different political routes and negotiated outcomes that can give effect to this wish of the Assembly and attention now turns to them.”
Instead of using their time in the ‘legislative labyrinth’ that is this Assembly to discuss and debate devolved issues that they can affect directly, it would appear that at all costs- our Assembly members would prefer to avoid introducing or passing real legislation with real responsibilities. Their “attention” (as Mr Farry put it) appears to be focused on ignoring a referendum result and doing all they can to try and overturn it.
Alliance, SDLP, Sinn Fein and it would appear, the UUP (despite claiming they now respect the referendum result) want to stay inside the European single market and disrespect the decision of the majority of people across the United Kingdom to leave the EU and all that comes with it. How quickly they forget that during the referendum, prominent remainers- like David Cameron said repeatedly: “If you vote to leave, you are voting to leave the single market”. They ignore the base reality that growth in the world right now cannot be found inside the bureaucratic EU- where economies are rapidly falling. They don’t wish to recognise the new realities and new opportunities that leaving the EU will present us with.
In truth, the Assembly vote on the Single Market doesn’t mean a jot. Northern Ireland, England, Scotland or Wales were not on the ballot- the United Kingdom was. We entered the European Union as one United Kingdom and we will leave as one United Kingdom. The trade arrangement agreed by our Government outside the EU will be one for the entire United Kingdom.
Perhaps our well paid Assembly members could recognise this, accept the democratic will of the majority of people in the United Kingdom and get on with their job of debating devolved matters and representing the people that elected them to the Assembly on local issues.
Jonathan Lavery, Belfast, BT5