Overseas Territories: Covid-19 Support

Defence – in the House of Commons on 21st September 2020.

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Photo of Julie Marson Julie Marson Conservative, Hertford and Stortford

What support his Department has provided to the overseas territories during the covid-19 pandemic.

Photo of Ben Wallace Ben Wallace The Secretary of State for Defence

Since the start of the pandemic, Defence has provided a range of support to Gibraltar, the Falkland Islands, Ascension, Saint Helena and our overseas territories in the Caribbean. HMS Medway and RFA Argus remain in theatre and are standing by to provide logistical and medical support, whether in relation to covid-19 or to providing disaster relief during the hurricane season.

Photo of Julie Marson Julie Marson Conservative, Hertford and Stortford

Afghan interpreters have provided an invaluable service to our armed forces, saving the lives of many British soldiers. Will my right hon. Friend update the House on the Government’s progress on their commitments to the Afghan interpreters?

Photo of Ben Wallace Ben Wallace The Secretary of State for Defence

The Home Secretary and I announced at the weekend that the criteria for interpreters to relocate to the UK will be expanded to include those who resigned on or after 1 May 2006 with 18 months or more service on the frontline in Helmand, so that more may come with their families to build a new life in the UK. In addition, the Home Secretary and I committed to look even further at those criteria, and to look at where people suffer intimidation, to see whether those thresholds are in the right place as the peace deal progresses in Afghanistan. Standing by these people is an honourable thing to do. They helped to keep our men and women safe, and this is long overdue.