Extension of period for forming an Executive

Part of Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:00 pm on 9th July 2019.

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Photo of Julian Lewis Julian Lewis Chair, Defence Committee, Chair, Defence Committee 6:00 pm, 9th July 2019

That confirms the very point that I was making, and it is why the main purpose of the amendment, although arguably it might be cited by people who are unlikely to be prosecuted, is to protect our service personnel, security forces and so on.

I would like to end—I really will end—by saying that I was encouraged in a debate in Westminster Hall on 20 May this year by the response of the Minister of State to points of the sort that I have made today. He said that I had

“mentioned the Nelson Mandela approach;
I will come back to that point, because it is central to any potential action and solution”.

He said that a solution

“must allow not only the victims and the veterans, but the whole society in Northern Ireland, to draw a line.”

He said:

“There is not an exact comparison between Northern Ireland, which is a unique place, and South Africa, but there are many parallels. We must find some way of creating an approach that will allow people to get closure, truth and justice.”—[Official Report, 20 May 2019;
Vol. 660, c. 248-250.]

That is what my amendment seeks to do, and I look forward to the Minister’s response.