John Major said of the loyalist flag protesters here.
"I think it's a phantom fear... It's perfectly clear from the Downing Street Declaration and everything that for so long as Northern Ireland wishes to remain British, so long as the people of Northern Ireland wish to remain British, they will remain British.
No-one is abandoning them, no-one is pushing them to one side. If you look at everyday life in Northern Ireland it is incomparably better than it was 20 to 25 years ago. Incomparably better for the people who are currently dissatisfied and for their children and for the future."BBC report in full here. Mick Fealty had earlier said:
The flegs crisis is an unnecessary elevation of the trivial to a cause of crisis, which typifies the limited vision of the OFMdFM ‘partnership’.Peter Robinson said:
"I fear the real danger for Unionism lies not in what our opponents would seek to do to us but in what we do to ourselves."