Following comments from Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Peter Kyle MP, that if Labour were in power he would set out the criteria for calling a border poll, Ulster Unionist Party leader, Doug Beattie MC MLA, said:
“The priorities for all political leaders looking after the best interests of Northern Ireland should be the cost of living crisis, dealing with the Northern Ireland Protocol and creating political stability.
“Regrettably Peter Kyle`s comments are a distraction from that and draw political focus away from those immediate challenges. They are unhelpful and ill-timed as they do none of those things. I have already been in touch with Peter Kyle to express my concern.We should be focusing on the here and now.
“The Belfast Agreement was very carefully and astutely written and all politicians should be mindful of the role that Lord Trimble and his colleagues played in its creation. Tinkering around with it will only cause more damage and create further division.”