Investigation of Veterans

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:41 am on 16th May 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of John Penrose John Penrose The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office 10:41 am, 16th May 2019

As my right hon. Friend rightly points out, he was given a medal for it. The only point on which I would pull him up is that, although the practical effect may feel the same, the legal underpinnings—again, I appreciate that he contested this—are different. Although we may wish that were not so, it is so. Therefore, we have to come up with something that will withstand legal challenge. As my right hon. Friend for Rayleigh and Wickford rightly pointed out, there are people out there who will try to knock legal holes in any answer that we come up with unless it is legally robust. We have to acknowledge the legal difference and find an answer that works, even though we are trying to get to the same answer in each case. If we cannot do that, we may come up with something that sounds great when we announce it, but which will get legal holes knocked in it; and that would mean that we were not protecting our veterans in the way in which everybody here wants us to do.