DERRY JOURNAL Editorial: Britain looking after ‘its boys’ with legacy bill

The 'Free Derry' mural in the Bogside area of the city.The 'Free Derry' mural in the Bogside area of the city.
The 'Free Derry' mural in the Bogside area of the city.
Amendments to the British Government’s ‘legacy bill’ will be considered in the British House of Lords this afternoon as the controversial legislation completes its final stages before becoming law.

​It is expected Britain’s, Charles III, will provide ‘royal assent’ later this month despite the NI Troubles (Legacy & Reconciliation) Bill being almost universally opposed in Ireland.

Not one MP elected by the 799,035 people in the North who voted at the last General Election supports the legislation, which is also opposed by the Irish Government, victims groups and nearly every single political party that organises on the island.

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The bill, when it is inevitably passed within the next few weeks, will introduce a statute of limitations for all Troubles-related killings, cutting off any realistic prospect for loved ones to gain some semblance of justice or closure through the judicial system.

The amnesty will apply both to British soldiers, as well as to loyalists and republicans, accused of carrying out atrocities during the conflict here.

The impetus for the bill stems from a pledge in the Conservative Party’s 2019 manifesto to end prosecutions of British Army veterans.

It should be remembered that loyalist and republican paramilitaries collectively served thousands of years in prison for atrocities committed during the Troubles.

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But once the prosecution of former soldiers became a live prospect the British establishment moved swiftly.

This bill is about Britain protecting ‘its boys’ and preventing State actors from ending up in the courts.