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Dear Sir,

Much has been made of the fact that Nationalist and Unionist parties each achieved 40% of the vote in the N. Ireland assembly elections last Thursday, with Alliance, Greens, independents and People before profit achieving the remaining 20%.

Of possibly more immediate significance, Pro-protocol parties achieved 56.1% o the vote, almost double the total for the explicitly anti-Protocol DUP and TUV of 28.9%. I have excluded the UUP from both totals as they refused to attend anti-protocol rallies and are in favour of practical reforms to the Protocol to reduce trade frictions - a position common to all pro-protocol parties. Interestingly, the 56% pro-protocol vote is exactly the same as the Remain vote in the 2016 Brexit referendum

Anti-protocol parties have insisted that it lacks cross-community consent, but exactly the same applies to Brexit, which they supported regardless, and of which the Protocol is part. If Brexit was a UK wide decision, then so is the Protocol.  It appears the DUP only require cross-community consent when they want to block something. When the people of N. Ireland withheld consent to Brexit the DUP ignored them.

Pro-protocol parties will have a 53 - 25 majority in the assembly, which is due to vote on the Protocol in 2024, and every 5 years thereafter. Why don't the anti-protocol parties accept the democratic verdict of the electorate and of any assembly votes in the future? Or is this a tribal rather than democratic issue?

I am waiting for the last two seats to be declared to finalise the exact seat numbers before sending this.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat May 7th, 2022 at 09:56:11 PM EST

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