DEFENCE – OPERATION BANNER VETERANS – 13 March 2017
Dr Julian Lewis: Did Ministers see the evidence given to the Select Committee on Defence last Tuesday by four eminent professors of law, indicating that there is no legal reason that a statute of limitations cannot be brought forward to prevent the hounding of our service personnel for pre-Belfast-agreement-related matters? Will Ministers work with the Committee by giving evidence to us that might enable such a statute to be brought forward?
[The Secretary of State for Defence (Sir Michael Fallon): We have indeed been following the proceedings of my right hon. Friend’s Committee with close interest. We want any legacy investigations in Northern Ireland to be fair, balanced and proportionate, given that 90% of the deaths there were caused by terrorists, not by members of the security forces. We would also not want to see cases reopened unless there is new and credible evidence to do so.]