As Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, my objective is to build a more peaceful, stable and prosperous Northern Ireland, that is fit for the future.
As part of this, we need to address the legacy of Northern Ireland’s troubled past, which continues to cast a large shadow on the present.
There is broad agreement that the current processes for addressing the past are not working well for anyone.
In 2014, the UK Government, along with the main Northern Ireland parties and the Irish Government reached the Stormont House Agreement, which contained the most far-reaching proposals yet for addressing the past.
The Government believes that the proposed new legacy bodies in the Agreement have the potential to provide better outcomes for victims and survivors and ensure there is no unfair and disproportionate focus on former members of the Armed Forces and police officers. The new bodies will be under clear statutory obligations to operate in ways which are fair, balance and proportionate.
Having discussed these proposals extensively with political parties in Northern Ireland, we believe that the time is now to allow for a wider public consultation, as we committed to in our 2017 Northern Ireland manifesto.
Now is the time for everyone with an interest in addressing the legacy of Northern Ireland’s past to have their say.
This consultation will run until 10 September and be published on the Government’s website at www.gov.uk/nio.
I have placed a copy of the consultation document in the Libraries of both Houses.