Schedule 1 - Excluded offences for the purposes of section 6

Part of Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill – in the House of Commons at 3:32 pm on 27th April 2021.

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Photo of Leo Docherty Leo Docherty Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence) 3:32 pm, 27th April 2021

I am grateful for my hon. Friend’s question. I am confident that, in the near future, legislation will be brought before the House from the Northern Ireland Office to ensure that we see no more prosecutions of Op Banner veterans, and I know that he will share that expectation.

I turn to Lords amendment 5B on the duty of care. The Government continue to believe that it would not be practicable or desirable to define a legally binding standard of care in relation to the matters referred to in the amendment. As I said previously, the Ministry of Defence takes very seriously its duty of care for service personnel and veterans. Over the years, we have established a comprehensive range of legal, pastoral, welfare and mental health support for service personnel and veterans, and we have come a long way from the early days of our operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our welfare provisions were clearly laid out in the Defence Secretary’s written ministerial statement of 13 April. We are aiming for a gold standard and are improving our provision all the time without the requirement for legislation.