Letters to the Editor: Democracy & Unionism

Dear Editor, The DUP, in its title, claims to be democratic. It may be the largest party in NI (presently) but is it really democratic in its attitudes and actions?

In a democratic referendum in 1998 a majority of people in NI agreed to remain in the UK until a majority choose otherwise. No doubt the DUP accepts the status quo, but will it accept a democratic vote to leave the UK?

In a referendum in 2016 a majority of people in NI voted democratically to remain in the EU (as did a majority in Scotland where, in 2014, a majority had voted to remain in the UK).

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The people of NI therefore have a democratic right to be in both the UK and the EU (as do the people of Scotland).

2019: Graffiti relating to Brexit at a peace Wall in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

The DUP does not accept NI’s democratic right to be in the EU, arguing that the 2016 referendum referred to the UK as a whole, in ignorance of or denial that the 2016 referendum was undemocratic in that it did not include the Republic of Ireland as it should have done to accord with the democratic 1998 Good Friday Agreement which the DUP did not accept.

Despite Brexit having, arguably, been brought into being undemocratically, the Protocol meets the democratically expressed wishes of the people of NI to be in both the UK and the EU.

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Will the DUP now honestly admit to being undemocratic and get off the stage?

The UK, in effect Greater England, could be a wonderful institution if it wasn’t dominated by England and its overwhelmingly large population. The Good Friday Agreement has within it the institutions for a more balanced ordering of the affairs of the peoples of these islands, but they haven’t been fully implemented. Brexit has made belated implementation more difficult. Was that the DUP’s intention in supporting Brexit?

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Dennis Golden,


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