It is a pleasure to follow my hon. Friend Johnny Mercer, and I hope he and his colleagues the right hon. Members for New Forest East (Dr Lewis) and for Sevenoaks (Sir Michael Fallon) recognise that we will be supportive of their amendments.
I rise to speak to amendment 18. I will not refer to amendment 19; I have signed it so we can take as read that it has my support. Amendment 18 requires a report to be brought forward about the implementation of the armed forces covenant in Northern Ireland. Members may remember that I brought forward a private Member’s Bill on
It is fundamentally wrong, fundamentally immoral, fundamentally unacceptable that the armed forces covenant does not apply equally in Northern Ireland. If every Member of this House accepts that to be the case, it is incumbent upon us all to support this Government bringing forward legislation that will ensure no Minister in a Northern Ireland Executive has the opportunity or is given the freedom to abide by their political prejudice and frustrate the implementation of the armed forces covenant in Northern Ireland.