Ulster Unionist Party leader, Doug Beattie MC MLA, has stated that weakening devolution would hinder our ability to ask for military assistance.
Doug Beattie MC MLA said:
“The Health Minister has once again asked for assistance from the military as we in Northern Ireland continue to fight against the COVID pandemic. This points to two things.
“Firstly, we have a Health Minister in Robin Swann who is not afraid to ask for help to support his frontline medical professionals. Being part of the UK means being part of something bigger, a collective of four nations who in times of crisis can rely on each other for help.
“In a troubled world this Union is becoming more and more important. A UK unionism is what defines the Ulster Unionist Party, not an inward-looking unionism.
“Secondly, it is clear that any prospect of military help first needs a local Minister in place to make such a request. Without an Executive we would not be able to ask for military help. Our tie to that wider Union collective would be weakened and our ability to ask for military assistance removed.
“Now is not the time to weaken devolution with threats to destabilise the assembly. All politicians should be focusing on rebuilding the Health Service after years of underinvestment and three years without an Executive.
“Now is the time to make our concerns known and address the problems with confidence.”