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Proscribed Organisations: Northern Ireland

Question for Northern Ireland Office

UIN HL1351, tabled on 5 February 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their current assessment of the structure, roles and purpose of paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland.

Answered on

12 February 2020

There was never and remains no justification for the existence of paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland. Responsibility for tackling activity by paramilitary groups or those associated with them, that have previously declared ceasefires rests with law enforcement and the devolved authorities. Both the Fresh Start and the New Decade, New Approach Agreements commit all relevant authorities to take a range of measures to tackle paramilitary activity, however that manifests itself. Updates on relevant activity to address this problem are provided to the Policing Board, the Department of Justice and the Justice Committee. The UK Government has the lead on paramilitary groups which have not declared ceasefires. These groups represent a SEVERE national security threat and although small and disparate, continue to show a reckless disregard for public safety. As a Government, we are committed to ensuring that our response to these groups and the harm these causes are robust and effective.