Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:-
“From the outset of the Haass process I have warned that Unionism and innocent victims have nothing left to give. Now, it is clear, that this is precisely what is being demanded. Unionist participants will be judged, not by their posturing, but by what they finally concede when subjected to the pressure cooker treatment of the next few days.
“For the long game of republicans internationalising Northern Ireland issues has always brought them ‘progress’. So, even the process is for them a win, which never fails to advance their agenda. Peter Robinson may protest his unhappiness, but it was he and McGuinness who called Haass in! Now, he is being asked to again feed the concession meter of ‘the peace process’ or see it threatened by those who constantly play that card.
“Just a year ago in launching the now forgotten ‘Unionist Forum’, the DUP/UUP promised a strategy to restore the Union flag to its rightful position. Now, they are being asked to facilitate the flying of the Tricolour and endorse an inane local flag to further diminish our national flag. The answer is ‘No’.
“Instead of securing primacy for principles which would protect parades through the shared spaces of arterial routes and respect traditions, what is on offer is enhancement for dialogue with insatiable and contrived ‘residents groups’ and a Parades Commission by another name, made worse by tripartite structures. The answer is ‘No’.
“As for innocent victims, rather than justice, they can have the victim-maker’s self- serving and partial version of ‘the truth’ in return for immunity for the terrorist. The answer is ‘No’.
“As the other unionist parties face into these days of self-inflicted hothouse pressure, I’m glad that in just 5 months they will have to account for their stewardship at the polls.”