NI not for sale, says Royal Black chief

The head of the Royal Black Institution sent a defiant message to the British government on Saturday, warning that Northern Ireland “is not for sale”.

Speaking to members of the Order, the Sovereign Grand Master Reverend William Anderson also said that their British citizenship had been “seriously undermined” by the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Rev Anderson spoke after the annual demonstration at Maguiresbridge in Fermanagh commemorating the Battle of Newtownbutler in 1689.

He said it was “time to remind our British government that this part of the UK should not be sold off to or closed with any foreign power”. “The memory of those who fought and eliminated such an alien power back then should encourage that determination,” he said.

“We cannot escape the dilution of our UK citizenship.

“It’s hard to believe that a government would agree to the annexation of part of its territory without getting the consent of the people of that area.”

Rev Anderson added that “under the threat of republican terrorism we are left with a border not between the UK and the EU but between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK – a border in the Irish Sea”. “This means that not only are there numerous customs controls on the movement of goods between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, but more importantly our UK citizenship is different here in Northern Ireland now – it has been seriously eroded. ‘ Rev Anderson told members.

“Indeed, the Act of Union was compromised.

“The UK Government has sole responsibility for its citizens throughout the UK, particularly here in Northern Ireland. No part of that responsibility should be shared with any foreign power.”

Speaking about the rationale for the protocol, Rev. Anderson said: “The task of preventing substandard goods from entering the EU is an EU issue. It is not for the UK to solve this problem.

“Just look at how the French refuse to take responsibility for those who leave their shores to enter Britain illegally.”

The demonstration attracted more than 1,000 members of the senior loyal order from across Northern Ireland and the Republic, accompanied by more than 30 bands.

County Grand Master and UUP MLA Tom Elliott was among those in attendance at the event. NI not for sale, says Royal Black chief

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