Letter: Ulster Unionist folly

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The Independent Culture
Sir: It seems that to satisfy a few hardliners in the Ulster Unionist Party David Trimble has sacrificed the entire Good Friday Agreement and raised the ugly spectre of violence returning to the province.

The last couple of weeks has seen the UUP leader blame everyone - British and Irish prime ministers, Secretaries of State, Sinn Fein, SDLP, all are guilty of causing the impasse.

It is clear that the Protestant leaders are simply not really interested in devolved power, especially if it means sharing power with Catholics. This sort of behaviour would not be tolerated in any other part of the UK, so why are we tolerating it from Northern Ireland?

Why cannot the English, Scots and Welsh people have a referendum to see if they want Northern Ireland to remain part of the UK?

After all, the taxpayers of Great Britain have long subsidised the troubled province. The British and Irish prime ministers have spent a great deal of time trying for a breakthrough only to have all their efforts rejected by the province's ungrateful politicians, men who purport to represent a people desperate for peace.

If Northern Ireland was independent from both Dublin and London it might at last focus the minds of its leaders to do something positive and constructive.