DFM 'to stay clear' of Scottish debate

Published Monday, 23 January 2012
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Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness says Northern Irish politicians should avoid getting involved in the debate over independence for Scotland.

The centuries old argument about independence for Scotland has reignited in recent weeks following statements by politicians in London and Edinburgh.

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond wants the referendum over the issue to be on his terms and at a time of his calling.

However, Prime Minister David Cameron wants to avoid a situation where the debate is allowed to run on over the next two years.

Speaking at Stormont on Monday, Mr McGuinness said the debate should not be allowed to cause division in the region.

He said: "This is an issue which could be used to create divisions in this house or even in our Executive or even between the First Minister and myself.

"I think all of us should resist the temptation to be drawn into something that will be decided elsewhere.

"We have our own duties and responsibilities, we have our own agreements stretching back to 1998, the St. Andrews Agreement, the Hillsborough Agreements and I think we abide by the agreements we have made and get on with our duties and responsibilites.

"What happens elsewhere has to be a matter primarily for the people concerned and my attitude to it is we would be best advised to stay clear of it," he said.

© UTV News
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12 Comments
seamas in belfast wrote (1,010 days ago):
Billy. Does Scottish independence make a United Ireland more likely or less? It makes it more likely. A separate Northern Ireland is simply not viable. As the UK breaks up a United Ireland becomes more and more likely. As for “Benefit Nationalists”, that’s an ugly bigoted stereotype and only proves we will never be treated equally in the UK. Roll on a United Ireland. Don’t worry though. You’ll be provided with Irish-English phrase books. We wouldn’t want you to miss the way to the Larne-Stranraer Ferry.
Billy in Belfast wrote (1,011 days ago):
Daragh, United Ireland ha, you’ve more chance of an ice cube in hell mate. As Henry so kindly put it below, when has the D.F.M. raised this matter in the Assembly? Seriously Northern Ireland will always be British as the Republic cannot handle the North financially nor would the so-called Benefit Nationalists be better off scrounging of the Republic, no they would have to make their fresh D.L.A. claims.
Realist in England wrote (1,011 days ago):
Andy - I'm curious, what do you mean by a united Scotland? If you mean united with the rest of Britain then I agree - irrespective of what Martin McGuinness wants, chances are that the union will soon cease to exist. Either way he has no control over it. I am not saying he should get involved, I'm just disgusted by his egotistical hypocrisy in contrast to Alex Salmond's dignity in sticking to his beliefs and keeping his word to his people. McGuinness is no better than Bertie Ahern IMO.
Daragh in USA wrote (1,011 days ago):
Billy you're more than welcome to consider yourself british if thats what you choose and nobody will ever be able to take that away from you. However the reality is in the long term Ireland will be united its inevitable!
AndyinLurgan in Lurgan wrote (1,011 days ago):
It shows how un-fit for office martin mcguinness actually is,when you remember that just over a week ago, he was (jokingly or otherwise) offering stormont castle as a negotiating location for the government and alex salmon and his cronies...you didn't get a united ireland martin,you wont get a united scotland either..
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