Reports have emerged that are suggesting that the British government will not fund investigations into British veterans relating to the Troubles in Northern Ireland. This is a reversal on a previous agreement with the Irish government and Northern Irish political parties. The British government have proposed that a new independent body should be formed to focus on information recovery and reconciliation rather than prosecution. The reason given for this is that it would put an “end to the cycle of reinvestigations”. However, Mr Lewis in a written statement to the House of Commons on Wednesday didn’t totally rule out investigating some past killings
This announcement is a clear deviation from agreements made during the Stormont House negotiations in 2014. This agreement, while David Cameron was Prime Minister dealt with numerous Troubles’ legacy issues, including how the nearly 2,000 unsolved murders would be investigated. There had been considerable worries in and around the Conservatory Party that retired British soldiers and police officers could be pursued for their roles in the killings. However, from the time Boris Johnson campaigned to be Conservative party leader and PM last summer he promised to end what he called “vexatious” prosecutions against former British soldiers.
The Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis said yesterday that victims would be “at the heart” of the new approach and also stated that Britain owes a “huge debt of gratitude” to its armed forces for their service in NI. Mr Lewis yesterday appeared to mirror Boris Johnson’s previous comments when he said he would “put an end to repeated reinvestigations” and “deliver on our promise to protect veterans from vexatious claims.”
Michelle O’Neill who is the leader of Sinn Féin in the Northern Ireland Assembly at Stormont responded to the British government’s announcement and said that this was a “unilateral move by the British government to rewrite the Stormont House Agreement without consulting the political parties or the Irish government. There can be no hierarchy of victims and no one, including British State Forces, can be above the law,” she said.
Current Affairs Correspondent | My name is Oliver Down I am 22, and a staunch brexiteer. I am a Bristolian lad who studied politics in Leicester. I believe in free speech and accurate journalism and I won’t be afraid to give you “the other side” of the story!
This content was sourced from Unity News Network.