Irish Republican News · November 19, 2005
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Economic unity underway - Hain

Ian Paisley has called for the resignation of British Direct Ruler Peter Hain after he admitted a single all-Ireland economy was inevitable.

Despite receiving a major boost with the peace process, the North’s economy has stalled in recent years, while the South, West and East of Ireland have boomed in comparison. The Six Counties continue to receive a multi-billion pound subvention from the British exchequer every year.

Mr Hain told the New York-based Irish Echo: “In future decades, it is going to be increasingly difficult to look at the economy of north and south except as a sort of island of Ireland economy. We are deepening north-south co-operation in a number of areas. The Northern Ireland economy, though it is doing better than ever in its history, is not sustainable in the long-term.”

“I don’t want the Northern Ireland economy to be a dependent economy as it is now, with a sort of UK, ‘big brother’ umbrella over it. It needs to be much more self-sufficient, so that’s what we’re trying to do.”

The comments echoed the noted remark of Hain’s predecessor, Peter Brooke, who said in 1990 that Britain had no “selfish, strategic or economic interest” in the North of Ireland.

However the DUP branded the remarks as “disgraceful” and had “stabbed Northern Ireland’s economy in the back” .

“By making that statement he has tried to undermine all the good work that has been done to get American firms into Northern Ireland,” said DUP leader Ian Paisley, without elaborating.

“Peter Hain has come, Peter Hain will go but Ulster will go on forever. He should resign and go home.”

Ulster Unionist representative Michael McGimpsey said Mr Hain, along with Sinn Féin and the SDLP were “in denial” and the North was fortunate to be part of the British economy.

“The Republic of Ireland would be better off integrating with the United Kingdom rather than Northern Ireland,” he said.

“This is green political correctness from a secretary of state who is divorced from the realities of the Northern Ireland economy.”

Sinn Féin Foyle representative Mitchel McLaughlin said a small island with a population of just over five million people “cannot develop successful economic strategies on the basis of economic division”.

“The smaller northern economy within that is unsustainable by itself and cannot exist in isolation.

“The result is an inefficient, ineffective and unequal economy characterised by high levels of economic inactivity, poverty and inequality.”

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© 2005 Irish Republican News