» Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Northern Ireland "on the runs"

Put to him that it was odd that we were putting forward measures about "on the runs" at the same time as the anti-terror legislation, especially as it was not in the Belfast Agreement, the PMOS said it was best to wait for the proposals to be put forward before commenting on the details. In terms of the general point there was a distinction between the "on the runs" issue and the anti terror bill. The key difference was that in Northern Ireland we were dealing with a conflict that was coming to an end. As part of that in the Good Friday Agreement we agreed to the early release of prisoners. That was the most difficult and painful part of the agreement and we fully acknowledged that. But the reality was we would not have got the Good Friday Agreement were it not for the agreement on prisoners. The "on the run" legislation was simply a logical extension of the prisoner release scheme because what it would do would be to address the issue of those who committed crimes before 1998, as had the prisoner release scheme. If those people had been convicted they would have been in the same position as prisoners. As such there was a logical extension there. It did not mean that it was not painful or difficult, but given that we now appeared to be in the final phases of the conflict it was right that we addressed that issue. We had made commitments that we would address this issue as long ago as 2003. Put to him that there appeared to be double standards concerning whether British troops were involved in some unsolved crimes, the PMOS said was that incorrect as anyone from the security forces who was convicted would be able to take advantage of that same mechanism. People needed to be clear about the distinction we had here in regard to Northern Ireland. We had a conflict coming to an end whereas in terms of the terrorism that the anti terror legislation was focused on, such as those who carried out the 7/7 attacks, they wanted to escalate the levels of terrorism not wind it down. That was the difference.

Briefing took place at 8:00 | Search for related news

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Post a public comment

(You must give an email address, but it will not be displayed to the public.)
(You may give your website, and it will be displayed to the public.)


This is not a way of contacting the Prime Minister. If you would like to contact the Prime Minister, go to the 10 Downing Street official site.

Privacy note: Shortly after posting, your name and comment will be displayed on the site. This means that people searching for your name on the Internet will be able to find and read your comment.

Downing Street Says...

The unofficial site which lets you comment on the UK Prime Minister's official briefings. About us...


November 2005
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
« Oct   Dec »

Supported by


Disruptive Proactivity

Recent Briefings



Syndicate (RSS/XML)



Contact Sam Smith.

This site is powered by WordPress. Theme by Jag Singh