Rev Ian Paisley labels NI border poll a 'waste of time'

Monday 28 January 2013 16.10
Ian Paisley said a referendum would be a waste of time and energy
Ian Paisley said a referendum would be a waste of time and energy

Former Northern Ireland first minister and former DUP leader Reverend Ian Paisley has put on record his opposition to holding a referendum about Northern Ireland's future in the UK.

Writing in the News Letter newspaper, Dr Paisley said people in the Republic of Ireland had made a substantial act of goodwill to remove the constitutional claim to Northern Ireland in order to facilitate neighbourly relations.

He urged Northern Ireland's politicians to concentrate on the real future, the youth and their education.

Dr Paisley said a referendum would be a waste of time, energy and money and suggested that there is no need or demand for such a poll.

Sinn Féin said it wants what is known as a border poll during the lifetime of the next Northern Ireland Assembly.

The right to call one rests with the Northern Ireland Secretary of State, who is appointed by British Prime Minster David Cameron.

DUP minister Arlene Foster recently said her party may be tempted to call Sinn Féin's bluff and support a referendum, because she predicted a majority would vote to remain part of the UK.