An Ulster Unionist delegation, including Party Leader Robin Swann MLA, Lord Empey and John Stewart MLA, have met with the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson at Stormont House.
Robin Swann MLA said:
“Our meeting with the Prime Minister was an opportunity to set out our concerns and priorities. He and his team may be settling into their new roles but they do not have much time. Northern Ireland has been without devolution for over two years now; Boris Johnson must apply pressure to those who are dragging their feet.
“The indulgence of the DUP and Sinn Fein has to come to an end. If a deal is not going to be reached then we made it clear to the Prime Minister that he must move to implement direct rule.
“We raised our concerns about the backstop and are glad the Prime Minister agrees with us on how undemocratic its implementation would be. However, his opposition to it is well versed now – we need to hear from the UK Government what their plans are to see it removed. We also underlined our opposition to leaving the European Union without a deal. The UK Government has said that no deal planning is being ramped up. It is important that the people of the region that stands to be most affected see the detail of what this is.
“The Prime Minister has been vocal on dealing with the past. We reiterated our opposition to the disastrous Historical Investigations Unit and appealed to him to seek a better way forward for victims.
“Manufacturing in Northern Ireland is under immense pressure at the minute. I spoke to Harland and Wolff workers before going in to meet Boris Johnson and raised the intolerable position they face, along with Wrightbus workers, directly with him.
“The Prime Minister has previously been a supporter of industry in Northern Ireland. He cannot let the factories and shipyard close on his watch.”