Alliance Party Westminster Candidate for North Down, Dr David Alderdice, has questioned why the SDLP is raising the issue of a border poll while at the same time trying to campaign for partnership government in Northern Ireland.
Speaking after reading the SDLP’s ‘green paper’ on a united Ireland,Councillor Alderdice stated:
“A border poll is the most divisive issue in local politics. We should be concentrating on bringing politicians together, not driving them apart.
“The focus right now should not be about the constitutional status of Northern Ireland but rather how we can create a genuine, stable partnership government.
“There is no need for a border poll to be held at this time. The Agreement says that the Secretary of State need only move to call a border poll if there is likely to be a change in the constitutional status of Northern Ireland.
“Since there is no evidence to suggest that a majority would vote for change at this time, to call for a divisive border poll is anti-Agreement.
“Many people who voted SDLP recently will be disappointed by its leadership publicly reverting to ‘old’ nationalism. The SDLP will have to stop trying to out-green Sinn Féin and start working to build trust right across the community.
“As the Irish Foreign Minister indicated recently, a united Ireland is not even on the Irish Government’s agenda right now, and he rightly pointed out that the focus should be on restoring the Assembly.”