DUP MP Gregory Campbell claims 'impossible dream' of convincing people to leave UK 'will come to nought'

East Derry DUP MP Gregory Campbell has claimed that Sinn Féin’s vision of persuading others to join them in a new Ireland is an ‘impossible dream’.

The veteran unionist politician however said everyone had to face the reality that 2023 could see Sinn Féin maintain its position as the largest single party with the most support from the electorate both north and south.

In his New Year message, Mr Campbell stated: “As we look forward to 2023 there are major difficulties to face given the NI Protocol problems, cost of living crisis and the war in Ukraine. The political scene will present many challenges for everyone.

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“Looking for positive signs that Irish Republicans might finally realise that their day has indeed finally 'come' and 'gone' may be a forlorn hope but at least this incoming year provides plenty of food for thought for them.

DUP MP Gregory Campbell.

“2023 may well be the first full year that Sinn Féin maintain their position in opinion polls in the Irish Republic as the largest single Party in that country, if that is the case they will undoubtedly try and align that to the current position in this country where they are de facto the largest single political party as a result of the 2022 Assembly election.

“If borne out across the year to come these are realities that everyone has to face up to. As Unionists we will do so just as we have with every other unpleasant reality the republican movement has thrown at us in the past 40 years.”

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He argued that the most relevant reality however “is not just for the rest of society but it is for Sinn Fein, because with whatever endorsement they seek to further their impossible dream of convincing people here to leave the UK, it will come to nought”.

“What do they then offer their misled followers as they see our resolve outlasting any political rise of theirs? It will not dismantle our membership of the United Kingdom that offers so much benefit to all our citizens,” he said, adding:

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Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald on the Derry Walls.

“Let us all move forward with hope, but also with realism in our hearts into 2023.”

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Back in November, Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald said the evolution of a new united Ireland will offer a new dawn for all, while warning that Partition has failed generations of people of here.

Mary Lou McDonald's was speaking at the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis 2022 in Dublin after recent elections saw Sinn Féin make history, becoming the most popular party in the north and south of the island.

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“Together, we look to an Ireland beyond partition. We reimagine the future of our country, discuss our ideas for a United Ireland and a tomorrow that captures all the potential and immense opportunities for this island.

“We are here in the spirit of ambition. To seize the day. To exceed even our own expectations for Ireland’s future, to reach beyond the trenches of the past, and see the light of a new dawn. Friends, we have come together to build our nation anew,” she said, adding:

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“It is our duty as a generation to fix what was broken. To make Ireland the home we know it can be, for everybody.”