Speaking in the House of Lords today on the Government’s new sanctions powers following the UK’s exit from the EU, DUP Deputy Leader and Peer Nigel Dodds demand action on the situation of Libya where the government has frozen assets under the previous Gaddafi regime.
Lord Dodds said,
“The Government will be well aware of the campaign to call Libya to account for its support for IRA terrorism in Northern Ireland and its supply of illicit weaponry including Semtex which resulted in the murder of and injuries to thousands of innocent people.
It is time for the Government to elaborate further on what action it is going to take to ensure that the Libyan assets which are currently ceased can be used to provide compensation to the innocent victims of Libyan sponsored IRA terrorism in Northern Ireland and indeed right across the United Kingdom.
The Government and indeed previous governments have looked at this issue but action seems to be in very short supply.
The UK has over £12 billion of Gadaffi assets frozen here. Last year some £17 million was raised in tax from these assets. Surely victims could be paid part of the compensation from those funds at least? American and other nationals have received compensation and its high time UK nationals also received compensation.
And the Government must commit at long last to publish the Shawcross report in to this matter. It has had this report from May last year yet various reasons have been rolled out to delay its publication. Victims feel very badly served by the continued procrastination and prevarication.
Now that we have an independent sanction regime the Government should indicate whether this will allow them to know take the appropriate actions which are well overdue.”