SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP has described the British Government’s decision to unilaterally push ahead with new legacy legislation as an egregious dereliction of duty following opposition from victims and survivors, political parties and the Irish Government to the proposals.
Mr Eastwood said that it is incredible that the government would move to publish legislation which will deny victims and survivors their right to judicial process in relation to the murder of their loved ones without first speaking to representatives in Northern Ireland.
Colum Eastwood MP said:
“This British Government has abandoned the concept of partnership when it comes to the sensitive politics of Northern Ireland. What they’re about to do regarding the Protocol is unacceptable but to take unilateral action on an issue as sensitive as legacy investigations over the heads of victims and survivors, political parties and the Irish Government is unbelievable.
“In their rush to protect former soldiers they will shut down routes to justice through inquests and civil cases, shield paramilitary killers and fundamentally alter the rights of those who have lost loved ones. All without a serious conversation with those most affected.
“Boris Johnson is preparing to tear up yet another agreement that the British Government entered into willingly. The people who will lose the most from this new process are those who have already paid the worst price for the failure to deal with the legacy of our past. This is no way to treat victims and the SDLP will oppose it.”