HMG should be challenging the Irish Government on its approach to dealing with the past – Swann

Ulster Unionist Leader, Robin Swann MLA, has asked for clarity from Her Majesty`s Government following today`s meeting of the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference.

Ulster Unionist Party Leader, Robin Swann MLA, said:

“Today`s meeting of the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference has been characterised more by what they didn`t say in the joint communique rather than what was in it. The Ulster Unionist Party has already expressed its deep reservations about how legacy has been handled and today`s statement certainly doesn`t address any of our concerns.

“The Republic of Ireland`s Government has been less than forthcoming in how it will address legacy and I believe Her Majesty`s Government should be challenging them to change their approach on how they deal with the past. The very least we should expect is that the Irish Government should have to fulfil the same commitments in terms of disclosure as our own Government otherwise any process to deal with legacy issues is destined to remain unbalanced and disproportionate. This should be a level playing field.

“I will be asking the Government to disclose exactly what they discussed with Simon Coveney and Charlie Flanagan.

“It was also reported that during an interview, the Irish Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan, stated that they had discussed the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry. It begs the question why is there no mention of that in the joint press communique? This is a matter that needs dealt with urgently but up until now the Secretary of State has been clear that it is a devolved issue. Karen Bradley needs to provide clarity as soon as possible. Does the joint communique represent the whole facts of their meeting or just some?”

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