Front Page

UK

World

Business

Sci/Tech

Sport

Despatches

World News in Audio


On Air

Cantonese

Talking Point

Feedback

Low Graphics

Help

Site Map


Monday, May 18, 1998 Published at 16:33 GMT 17:33 UK




Molyneaux says no
image: [ Lord Molyneaux: says unionists were pressured into agreeing the deal ]
Lord Molyneaux: says unionists were pressured into agreeing the deal

The former Ulster Unionist leader, Lord Molyneaux, has confirmed that he will be voting No in the referendum on the Good Friday agreement. He also criticised the way the deal was put together.

He told BBC Northern Ireland that he would be voting No because he believed the unionist negotiators had been pressurised into agreeing the accord.

"Changes were made to the document in the final hour. That was followed by what amounted to an ultimatum - decide the future of Ulster within 15 minutes or else," he said.

"In my humble opinion, that was pressure and blackmail amounting to brutality."

He said he believed the deadline was governed by the fact that the chairman of the talks, US Senator George Mitchell, had had his flight home booked.

Lord Molyneaux was critical of what he called the "summitry" involved in the deal. He said such meetings were "deadly to democratic principles."

He added that he had been on the fringes of the 1945 Yalta summit between the allied leaders and that it had been a total disaster - "condemning the whole of Eastern Europe to Russian slavery."

He said he had begged the UK Government not to "herd the delegation into a compound, deprive them of sleep, and force them into unwise decisions." But in the end, he said, duress was applied to the Ulster Unionist delegation.

Meanwhile UK Unionist leader, Robert McCartney, said that such a large majority of unionists were against the proposed cross border arrangements that elected unionist politicians could bring them down.






Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage


Link to BBC Homepage

LATEST NEWS
RECENT STORIES
HISTORY
PARTIES
PARAMILITARIES
LINKS
FOCUS
FACTS
In this section

No camp rejects Blair campaign

'Trust me' appeals Blair

When is a Yes really a Yes?

Adams: 'I misjudged public reaction'

Referendum challenge fails

Prisoners' release could be key issue

Tourist office targeted

Cross-border fears for many unionists

Paisley: 'Agreement will dilute the union'