Stephen Farry stated:
“The words of the UVF statement are welcome in that they mark a comprehensive move away from the broad range of paramilitary activity. Given past false dawns, there will inevitably be scepticism. These new commitments will need to be verified by the IMC.
“Loyalists should also explain what is meant by a ‘non-military, civilianised role’. As with the IRA, there must no longer by any role in society for paramilitary organisations. The UVF need to go completely out of business.
“Decommissioning is a crucial confidence building measure. It is an essential part of the Good Friday Agreement. The PUP was a party to that Agreement. The Agreement was clear that decommissioning must occur in a manner that can be verified by the decommissioning commission. People will wonder for what purposes weapons can be retained. This failure to address decommissioning properly will inevitably cast a cloud over what could otherwise be viewed as a major step forward.”