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Friday, September 10, 1999 Published at 21:11 GMT 22:11 UK


UK: Northern Ireland

Agreement won't work says unionist

John Taylor withdraws from review

Ulster Unionist Party deputy leader John Taylor has said the Good Friday Agreement will not work and he will not be taking part in former US Senator George Mitchell's review.

He has laid the blame for his decision at the door of the IRA and the UK Prime Minister Tony Blair.


John Taylor: "It is quite clear IRA is re-arming"
He said he had done his best to support his party leader David Trimble.

Mr Taylor played a key role in selling the Good Friday Agreement to Ulster Unionists but he has had a change of heart which he blamed on the activities of the IRA.

He said: "In recent weeks I have realised that it is not going to work because IRA/ Sinn Fein are the one organisation, let's not forget about that.

The Search for Peace
"Far from being committed exclusively to peaceful and democratic methods they have made it quite clear that they are re-arming, that they are attacking Catholics and expelling Catholics and killing Catholics," he said.


The BBC's Tom Coulter reports
The Strangford MP also said he had been influenced by the prime minister's letter of comfort at the time of the agreement which said decommissioning should start immediately.

Mr Taylor said the letter was worthless.

'Examine the consequence'

Meanwhile, the Secretary of State, Mo Mowlam, has asked all those involved in the review to examine the consequence of not talking.

"I think people should reflect and think over the weekend about what the alternatives are and turn up and at least have the decency to meet Senator Mitchell on Monday or Tuesday and state their views.

"But nobody I hope wants to go backwards," she said.


[ image: Decision a blow to David Trimble]
Decision a blow to David Trimble
The Sinn Fein President, Gerry Adams, has said Mr Taylor was making a mistake by staying away from the review.

Mr Adams said: "I think Mr Taylor should be there with the rest of us. If he does not do that all he is doing is confirming the 'no' men of unionism.

"I think everyone should be there," he said.

Mr Taylor's abandonment of the Good Friday Agreement will be another blow to David Trimble.

However, Mr Taylor said that Mr Trimble still had his full support as party leader.

It is unclear how Mr Taylor's move will be interpreted by his party as the peace process negotiates another difficult period in the wake of the publication of the Patten report into the future of the Royal Ulster Constabulary.



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