Investigation of Veterans

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

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

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. I certainly did not want to imply that we are countenancing being leisurely about this. This situation has been wrong for many years. The only reason for not announcing something tomorrow—or, indeed, today or yesterday—is simply that we need to ensure that we have put all the answers from the consultation out and in front of the House, so people have a chance to work through the details and ask, “Alright, what does this mean in practice then?” We need to move as fast as we can, but it has to be as fast as we can in a way that is consistent with forging a consensus in Northern Ireland. We have to ensure that whatever answer we come up with sticks, survives and works for both sides of the community, otherwise it will come unravelled in the fullness of time and we will have failed to protect our veterans from the kind of problems that we have all heard about, and which I think everyone here agrees are absolutely unacceptable.