Witch hunt against our veterans needs to stop but IRA amnesty is not the answer

In a letter to leaked to the press, it has emerged that Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has backed an amnesty for IRA killers as the price for ending the witch-hunt of historic prosecutions against British troops serving in Northern Ireland during The Troubles.

The witch hunt against our veterans needs to stop but a statute of limitations covering terrorists is not the answer. If we extend this to the IRA where do we stop?   Isis?  The Taliban?  And what of future threats and enemies to come?  The precedent would be far too dangerous.

I have submitted a paper to the Government’s “statute of limitations – veterans protection inquiry” in which I propose how former service personnel can be protected from the spectre of investigation and re-investigation for events that happened many years, and often decades, earlier.

I believe the following measures need to be introduced:

1. Statute of limitations on prosecuting British Soldiers involved in past conflicts.
2. Combat immunity to be enshrined into criminal law as a partial defence to prosecution.
3. MoD to be stripped of its historic immunity from prosecution when personnel are killed during training as a result of a serious failing in its duty of care through a reckless disregard for life.

You can read my paper here:


Hilary Meredith