Government questioned on investigation of veterans who served during Troubles
16 May 2019 (updated on 16 May 2019)
Mark Francois has asked an urgent question after the Ministry of Defence announced yesterday it intends to legislate to protect veterans from prosecution over actions undertaken in the battle.
Announcing that the proposals would be put to public consultation, Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt said that the proposed law would prevent the investigation of veterans over actions undertaken in battle after ten years other than in "exceptional circumstances".
The proposed legislation would not apply to Northern Ireland, where the 2015 Stormont House Agreement ruled out amnesty or a statute of limitations for killings that occurred during the Troubles.
- Watch Parliament TV: urgent question on investigation of veterans who served in Northern Ireland
- Read Commons Hansard: investigation of veterans
Responding to the urgent question, Northern Ireland Minister John Penrose said;
"The current situation in Northern Ireland is not working properly for people on all sides. It is clearly unsupportable and it is unfair in many, many ways."
Following up on his initial question, Mark Francois told the House,
"We have a moral duty to defend those who defended us and we abrogate that duty if, for reasons of political convenience, we allow the scapegoating of our veterans to pander to terrorists."
- Read: House of Commons Library Briefing - Investigation of Former Armed Forces Personnel Who Served in Northern Ireland