The Ulster Unionist Party Leader Robin Swann MLA has welcomed the Government’s decision to agree to his request to extend the consultation period for addressing Legacy matters, beyond the current closing date of Monday 10th September 2018.
Robin Swann MLA said:
“I am extremely pleased that the Government has agreed to the Ulster Unionist Party’s request for its Legacy consultation deadline to be extended.
“Last week I wrote to the Prime Minister, the Secretary of State, and the other local party leaders seeking support for just such an extension, because I believe that the consultation paper ‘Addressing the Legacy of Northern Ireland’s Past’ heralds one of the most important consultation processes that has ever taken place in Northern Ireland, and its consequences will be both far-reaching and long-lasting.
“We called for an extension because a number of groups representing victims and indeed individual victims themselves and the wider community, have raised concerns with the Ulster Unionist Party, telling us that they required more time to properly assess the proposals and make a response.
“How we deal with the past has been on the agenda of political talks since before the Haass process in late 2013 and it needs to be resolved in a manner that is – to quote from the general principles of the draft bill - ‘balanced, proportionate, transparent, fair and equitable.’ It is our opinion that the draft bill which is being consulted on does not meet these tests, particularly the proposal to establish a Historical Investigations Unit.
“Having secured this extension until Friday 5th October, it is absolutely vital that everyone makes their views known to the Government and not leave it up to others to do so, otherwise their silence might be taken for consent.”