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 3:45 pm on 27th April 2021.

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Photo of John Healey John Healey Shadow Secretary of State for Defence 3:45 pm, 27th April 2021

Yes indeed. My right hon. Friend has worked as hard as anyone in this House on this Bill and I am really grateful to him for that. He has been part of what the Opposition, certainly, are now set to do, which is to forge a consensus on the changes needed to the Bill so that it better serves the interests of British troops, British justice and Britain’s standing in the world. I believe that we, as the official Opposition, and we as a House, have a duty to try to make this Bill fit for purpose as the new legal framework for this country when we have in future to commit our servicemen and women to conflict overseas. It falls short of that test at present. We will not let those matters rest.

This is a classic case of a Government who will win their legislation but have lost the arguments. When that is the case, the Government will find that those arguments come back again, not just from the Opposition but from all parties, not just from this House but from both Houses, and not just from Parliament but from all the range of outside organisations that together have been the chorus of criticism about so much in this Bill that is still left undone but will be done in future.