Northern Ireland news

Poll shows majority of people oppose British government amnesty plans

Prime Minister Boris Johnson described the legacy proposals as a chance to 'draw a line under the Troubles'.

THE majority of people in the north are opposed to British government proposals to introduce a Troubles amnesty.

A recent poll shows that seven out of 10 people do not agree the proposal to end prosecutions, civil proceedings and inquests.

Figures reveal that the strongest opposition is strongest among SDLP and Sinn Féin voters.

According to the LucidTalk opinion poll published in the Belfast Telegraph, 86 percent of nationalists are opposed to the controversial plans with 58 percent of unionists also against.

The online survey involved 2,209 people and was carried out from July 19-21 and was weighted to reflect the population of the north.

The figures show that while there is opposition to the proposals among older people with younger voters are more hostile.

In total, 71 per cent agree with the proposals, with 23 per cent supporting them.

Under the plans a line will be drawn under any offences carried out before the Good Friday Agreement was signed in 1998.

According to the poll, 10 per cent of Sinn Féin and SDLP voters agree with the cut off date compared to 34 percent of DUP, UUP and TUV voters.

Among Alliance and Green Party voters 68 per cent disagree with an amnesty, while 24 percent back the plan.

Opposition to the plan is strong among young people with 78 per cent of 18-24 year-olds rejecting it and 14 per cent supporting it.

Although all age groups are hostile to ending prosecutions, older respondents disagree with the move less than the younger generation.

Among the 25-44 year-old age group 74 per cent are against an amnesty and 19 per cent in favour.

In the 45-66 year-old bracket, 72 per cent are opposed compared to 25 per cent for.

In the over 65 category, 63 per cent oppose the Tory government's proposals with 29 per cent backing them.

The survey also concluded that Catholics are more opposed to the proposals than Protestants or those of no religion.

In total, 84 per cent of Catholics reject the blueprint while with just 13 per cent in favour.

Figures show 63 per cent of Protestants disagree with a ban on prosecutions while 30 per cent support one.

For those of no religion, 64 per cent are against an amnesty while 27 per cent support one.

Last week MLAs voted against Boris Johnston's proposals during an emergency debate.

The British government is expected to fast track legislation after the summer recess.

Despite opposition in the north the Tory majority at Westminster means the proposals are likely to become law.

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