The Secretary of State has said she could not support a statute of limitations that would prevent military veterans from being prosecuted for crimes committed during the Troubles.
Karen Bradley said any such law would also have to apply to terrorists – something she says she couldn’t support.
Writing for the eamonnmallie.com website, Mrs Bradley said: “We owe a debt of gratitude to the bravery of the soldiers and police officers who upheld the rule of law and were themselves accountable to it. I fully understand the concerns that have been raised, but a statute of limitations would not be possible under international law without extending it to terrorists. That is something I could not support.”
Stressing that the government is committed to providing better outcomes for victims and survivors of the Troubles, she appealed for people to have their say on how best to deal with the legacy of Northern Ireland’s bloody past.
With the government’s public consultation process due to close this Friday, Mrs Bradley said: “The consultation has rightly sparked debate across the UK. A range of views are being expressed across society and the political parties, both in Northern Ireland and Westminster.
“I believe that the proposed legacy institutions in the consultation have the potential to provide better outcomes for victims and survivors and for all those affected by the Troubles. They may not be perfect, but they deserve consideration and fresh thinking.
“I know strong opinions have been voiced about this consultation process. My response has always been the same – this is an open process and we want everyone to share their views.
“I would encourage everyone with a view to share their thoughts and ideas before the deadline on Friday, so that we can find the best way forward on dealing with the legacy of Northern Ireland’s past.”