The Northern Ireland Conservatives have warned the First Minister, Peter Robinson, that he should be wary of signing up to a “separatists’ charter”. Vice Chairman (political), Dr Paul Megarity, noted that the Joint Ministerial Council, under the influence of the SNP’s Alex Salmond, is threatening to play “fast and loose with the Union”, after it called on the government to instigate constitutional reform.
“From the outset of his time as Prime Minister, David Cameron has promised to treat the devolved institutions with respect. Rather than pursue the style of top down government favoured by Labour, he prefers to give the UK’s nations and regions the tools to help ourselves.”
“Of course this ‘respect agenda’ should be a two way process. Our national finances are weighted down by unsustainable debt and, ultimately, every part of the United Kingdom has to play its part in paying back what we owe.”
“Too often, when First Minister Robinson and First Minister Salmond get together, they demand more money and more power, but forget the responsibilities which go along with being part of a great nation. For Mr Salmond, whose aim is to dismember the United Kingdom, that is a good strategy, Mr Robinson’s motives may be less far-sighted”.
“The First Minister underestimates the people of Northern Ireland, when he joins in populist plots with his separatist friends. People here have always readily shared the responsibilities and burdens of their fellow citizens. They understand the UK’s financial predicament and want to play a role in solving it”.
“Mr Robinson is playing a dangerous game by constantly allying with nationalists against the government. The risk is that he will actively abet Alex Salmond in his efforts to pull the UK apart”.