Victims of IRA terrorism throughout the UK are surprised, concerned and disappointed that their case for compensation has been excluded from Monday’s announced deal between the Conservatives and the DUP.
For years, the DUP has supported the victims’ campaign for Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) to fulfil its responsibilities and secure compensation from Libya, whose supply of semtex to the Provisional IRA resulted in thousands of victims.
This was in line with the DUP’s manifesto commitment to “do everything we can to assist innocent victims obtain a measure of justice”.
The US, France and Germany have already secured compensation for their victims of Libyan terrorism.
A Parliamentary Inquiry recently found that HMG had missed repeated opportunities to do so, as it was too focused on pursuing business opportunities in Libya.
That inquiry recommended that HMG enter into immediate negotiations with Libya to secure compensation before the end of 2017 or, if not, that HMG should set up a government fund to compensate the victims and recoup the money from Libya at a later date.
Earlier this month, the press reported that the DUP was demanding a pledge from the Conservatives that the issue of compensation would be resolved within two years.
Did the Conservatives refuse this demand?
If so, the victims deserve to know why.
Matt Jury, Counter terrorism litigation expert and managing partner, McCue and Partners, London