Select Committee on the Armed Forces Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:36 pm on 22nd April 2021.

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Photo of James Sunderland James Sunderland Chair, Select Committee on the Armed Forces Bill, Chair, Select Committee on the Armed Forces Bill 12:36 pm, 22nd April 2021

I thank my very good right hon. Friend for his question. The simple answer relating to Northern Ireland is that the legacy issues, very much in the news at the moment, are subject to separate work being led by the Northern Ireland Office, and the Ministry of Defence made it clear to me and the other members of the Committee that that would not be within the scope of this Bill. We divided on that at the beginning of the session. For me personally, the wider issues relating to Northern Ireland and care, and the provisions of the covenant, are catered for in this Bill. I am pleased that the implementation of the armed forces covenant in statute is very much the core feature of this Bill and will happen, for the benefit of all those in Northern Ireland and elsewhere.