Northern Ireland

Trimble attacks Scottish nationalists over threat to the Union

Lord Trimble
Image caption Lord Trimble was speaking at a rally for the Union in Troon

Lord Trimble has claimed Scottish nationalists would "do violence" to people's identity by attempting to take the country out of the UK.

The former Ulster Unionist Party leader was speaking at a rally for the Union at the Scottish Conservative conference in Troon in Ayrshire.

Lord Trimble said people in Northern Ireland were "concerned about what is happening" in Scotland.

He said every Scot had a "British component" in their national identity.

"I have to say to Scottish nationalists that by fighting for a programme of separatism, saying that you want to take Scotland out and take the Scottish identity out into a separate place, you are doing violence to part of the identity of every Scotsman, because there is a British component in the identity of every Scotsman," he added.

"And to separate that is to do violence to people's own sense of identity."

Lord Trimble said Northern Ireland had "come out of a huge campaign that was intended to break the Union".

However, he said that had failed because of the efforts of the police and the army, and because "we won the political argument".

"That political argument was crucial," he added.

"And the argument we put to the people of Northern Ireland was all about the benefits of being in the United Kingdom, of how by being part of a larger unit our own particular difficulties could be more easily reconciled."

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