A virtual meeting of the five parties involved in the Stormont Executive to discuss the British governments plan to end prosecutions for killings during the Troubles has been described as passionate, robust and frank.
The discussion, co-chaired by Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney and Northern Secretary Brandon Lewis, lasted for 90 minutes.
The Irish Government and the five main parties at Stormont have strongly rejected the proposals.
During the meeting, the Northern Secretary was accused of being "veterans centred and not victims centred".
All of the Stormont parties made it clear that they believe the possibility of possible prosecutions should not be taken off the table.
The Assembly is to be recalled from its summer recess for an emergency session on Tuesday to discuss the plan to introduce a statute of limitations and to end all Troubles inquests and civil actions.
More than 30 MLAs have signed the recall petition.
MLAs will debate a motion calling for victims and survivors to have a "full, material and central role and input into the content and design of structures to address the legacy of the past".
Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said that the British government's decision to end prosecutions for crimes related to the Troubles "needs to be dealt with in the context of the Good Friday Agreement".
Taoiseach Micheál Martin says the British decision to end prosecutions for crimes related to the Troubles 'needs to be dealt with in the context of the Good Friday Agreement'. All the parties in NI are united in their opposition to it, he says. | Read: https://t.co/uqp8gj1Uto pic.twitter.com/MFHxAjSao7— RTÉ News (@rtenews) July 16, 2021
Meanwhile, Minister Coveney said that there can be no pre-determined outcome to dealing with legacy issues in Northern Ireland, and that the British government's proposals were "simply a position paper".
"This is a process I am committed to and we will move forward now but let me be very clear: there is no pre-determined outcome here," Mr Coveney said.
"Some have sold the British government's position during the week as a fait accompli. There is no fait accompli.
"There is an outline of the British government’s position and perspective that now needs to feed into a process that is attempting to achieve a consensus on a way forward, and I hope we will be able to make progress on that in the next few weeks."
He said: "This is not a case of the British government outlining a position and then going through some form of consultation process and then moving ahead with that position anyway in the autumn - if that is what we are at, well then we have real problems."
Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said: "Today's meeting confirmed what we already knew, that the British government are acting in total bad faith and are trying to fabricate a process to give cover to the British government proceeding with amnesty legislation in the autumn.
"They are now clearly intent on walking away from the Stormont House Agreement."
The Northern Ireland Secretary this week managed to unite Northern Ireland's political parties and the Government.
All oppose plans he announced to stop criminal investigations and prosecutions for Troubles killings up to the Good Friday Agreement in April 1998.
That announcement came just weeks after the Irish and British governments announced a new talks process aimed at finding an agreed way to deal with legacy issues.
Only one meeting took place before the Northern Secretary made his announcement.
Victims groups have said they feel betrayed, while the political parties have accused the British government of ignoring victims and undermining the rule of law.
The Government has also criticised the proposals and insisted they are the basis for further discussion and not the final position.
The UK Solicitor General said the British government would be "engaging" with different groups over its proposal.
Asked whether it was time for a "rethink", Lucy Frazer told Sky News: "The issue in relation to this is that as time moves on, the chances of getting a successful conviction gets lower.
"I know that this issue is causing a lot of issues in Ireland and it is important we engage on this subject, and that rifts are developing.
"I know the Government is engaging with all parties, it will continue to do so before it brings forward any legislation."
Additional reporting Paschal Sheehy, PA