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Varadkar condemns Johnson’s plan to give soldiers ‘amnesty’


The Irish premier has said he raised the issue of an “amnesty” for soldiers who served in Northern Ireland with the British government.


On the first night of the British Irish Council on Thursday, Leo Varadkar said he raised the election promise by Johnson that he would protect soldiers who served in Northern Ireland from prosecution.


Making the announcement about prevent veterans facing “vexatious” legal action, Johnson told veterans: “We will always support you.”


Varadkar said he brought the issue up with secretary of state for Northern Ireland Julian Smith.


“Yeah, we actually discussed that matter last night, and I expressed the very strong view of the Irish government, that there shouldn’t be any amnesty for anyone who perpetuated crimes in Northern Ireland, no matter whether they were state actors or not,” Varadkar said.


When the issue was put to Smith, he said the British government is dedicated to the agreement previously signed by both governments.


“The British government, as you know, on legacy is dedicated to the Stormont House Agreement,” he said.


“We are talking at the moment about how we ensure the Stormont House Agreement is implemented in full, and we are talking at the moment – depending on the election result, we will push forward in consultation with all groups and want to deliver on that.”


Leo Varadkar with Julian Smith (PA)



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