'Future Of The Union Is In The Hands Of Our Children' – Sir Jeffrey

The choices unionists make today will either grow support for Northern Ireland or "cede ground to the enemies of the Union", DUP Leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP has told a meeting of Party members and supporters.

Speaking at the event in Newry & Armagh, Sir Jeffrey said: "Northern Ireland's future does not rest in the hands of a court or Parliament, it rests in the hands of our children and grandchildren. They will determine the Union's longevity.

"As leaders of unionism, we must realise that a demographic and political shift is taking place before our eyes. Either we close our eyes and ignore it or we recognise that we are no longer in a place where 70% of the population are red, white and blue British.
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"As someone who is a long-time member of His Majesty's Privy Council, has been a Member of the British Parliament for some 27 years and a proud Royalist, I also grew up in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, have been for almost 50 years a member of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland and I hail from a family who served with the Royal Irish Regiment. As such the symbols that I identify with include the harp and crown that I wore with pride as my cap badge in the Ulster Defence Regiment. I value my Britishness as represented by the crown but I also value the Irish element of my identity as represented by the harp. To be Northern Irish and British is not at all a mutually exclusive thing.

"The Northern Ireland of 2024 is made up of people who are British, Irish, Northern Irish and some emerging identities who don't sit within any of the above. As unionists, our vision for a Northern Ireland that works for everyone is one that embraces all of these identities."

Sir Jeffrey's full address to the meeting can be read here.

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