The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland continues to display its resolute opposition to the Northern Ireland Protocol.
The latest initiative, which goes live today (1st November) and will continue throughout the month of November, is an anti-Protocol Declaration.
The declaration, which follows the commitment made by the leaders of the political parties at the end of September, will be available for all to sign.
A digital version which allows people to sign online is available now.
This will be circulated on social media and will be available on the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland website.
The Declaration states:
“I the undersigned affirm my opposition to the Northern Ireland Protocol and its mechanisms and structures. I pledge my support for the Declaration signed by Unionist political leaders on 28th September 2021 which stated that the Northern Ireland Protocol must be rejected and replaced by arrangements which fully respect Northern Ireland’s position as a constituent and integral part of the United Kingdom.”
It is anticipated that as many members of the Orange Institution, the other Loyal Orders, bands community and wider Orange Family as possible will sign the Declaration.
Each lodge secretary will, in the coming days, receive a pack of forms which can be signed and returned to Schomberg House. It is hoped that as many as possible will open on Saturday, 27th November, to allow members and their families, and the general public, to come along and sign the Declaration. Recent weeks have seen the representatives of the United Kingdom Government and the European Union meet to discuss the Protocol. Early feedback from these meetings does not look too encouraging as both sides have conceded they are some way from agreement on the key issues currently under discussion.
DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has warned that he will call and early election in the event that the current round of negotiations fails to deliver an acceptable outcome.