Orange Order to deliver Windsor Framework view by April

The Head of the Orange Order has told UTV the institution hopes to come to a view on the Windsor Framework in a month's time.

Grand Secretary Reverend Mervyn Gibson has said the Orange Order will consult with its membership and unionist leaders in the days and weeks ahead.

He said, "It may take months to see all the finer detail, to see whatever workings there are, to see if the government puts it through Westminster.

"But we would, as an institution hope to come to an informed view on the document by the beginning of April."

Reverend Gibson said, like others, the institution had not had time to digest the Windsor Framework in detail since it was unveiled by the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Monday.

He said there are "clearly concerns about aspects of it, the Irish Sea border and the role of the ECJ."

When asked about the specific timeframe for the Orange Order to come to a decision by the beginning of April, Reverend Gibson explained that it was based on meeting schedules within the organisation.

The DUP has repeatedly said it will take time to consider the new deal between the UK and EU.

However some senior figures within the party have already expressed their concerns that the proposals do not go far enough to satisfy unionism.

When asked if the DUP could make a decision as a party on the Windsor Framework before the Orange Order delivered its view, East Belfast DUP MP Gavin Robinson said,

"We are engaging right throughout the community, within our own structures, and assessing the Windsor Framework against our 7 tests.

"So we will engage with organisations, community groups, individuals right across Northern Ireland externally and internally and we will continue to do that until we get this right."

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