SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP has described British Government claims that legacy legislation is designed to promote reconciliation as ‘an out and out lie’.
The Foyle MP was speaking in the House of Commons this afternoon where he outlined a number of cases where victims of British Army, IRA and UVF murders would be denied justice.
The SDLP Leader rejected the unilateral decision by the British Government to abandon the Stormont House Agreement, an international agreement which commands the support of a majority of Assembly parties.
Colum Eastwood MP said:
“This legislation is a gross abdication of the commitments the British Government entered into at Stormont House. It is a breach of the international treaty between the British and Irish Governments and fundamentally, it goes absolutely against the wishes of people in Northern Ireland and against the interests of victims here.
“It is made worse by the pretence from Ministers that this is about reconciliation. That is an out and out lie. This legislation is about protecting the British state and preventing the prosecution of state forces. The hard truth is that British soldiers and paramilitaries alike who committed murder in Northern Ireland will be shielded from justice by this legislation. It has no political support, no support from victims and no support from human rights bodies in the North.
“This is a unilateral move from a government that has given up on the principle of partnership when it comes to Northern Ireland. They will nakedly defend their own interests, regardless of the cost to people here. The SDLP will oppose this legislation at every stage.”