Northern Ireland Secretary meets with group representing army veterans

·1-min read
Brandon Lewis has met a group which represents army veterans (Brian Lawless/PA) (PA Wire)
Brandon Lewis has met a group which represents army veterans (Brian Lawless/PA) (PA Wire)

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis has met with a group representing army veterans.

The Northern Ireland Veterans Movement (NIVM) has supported the UK Government’s bid to introduce a statute of limitations on Troubles-era legacy killings.

In a statement, NIVM said the statute of limitations combined with an end to legal aid and the funding of legacy cases would stop an “expensive and deeply flawed propaganda offensive”.

“There will be no more show trials, no more legacy inquests costing millions of pounds, no more hugely expensive police enquiries directed at the security forces,” they added.

“With that guarantee in place, we will bring our full strength and influence to bear in support of any proposed legislation.”

Last month, Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis announced plans for a statute of limitations which would end all prosecutions for Troubles incidents up to April 1998 and would apply to military veterans as well as ex-paramilitaries.

The proposals, which Boris Johnson said would allow Northern Ireland to “draw a line under the Troubles”, would also end all legacy inquests and civil actions related to the conflict.

The plan has been heavily criticised by all the main political parties in Northern Ireland, as well as the Irish Government and a range of victims and survivors groups.

A UK Government spokesman said: “The Government is committed to continuing engagement with a range of stakeholders to find a way forward on legacy issues that focuses on reconciliation, delivers better outcomes for victims and ends the cycle of investigations that is not working for anyone.”

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