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 4:15 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) 4:15 pm, 27th April 2021

I am grateful for all Members’ contributions. I thank John Healey for his constructive tone. I am happy to confirm that I will communicate to Justice Henriques the concerns that he has raised. Of course, it is an independent review, but we would be happy for Justice Henriques to consider those concerns within the scope of his review.

We heard contributions from my right hon. Friend Mr Davis and Mr Jones. I look forward to receiving the right hon. Gentleman’s letter, and I will give it due consideration and respond in due course. We also heard contributions from the hon. Members for South Shields (Mrs Lewell-Buck), for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross (Jamie Stone) and for West Dunbartonshire (Martin Docherty-Hughes), as well as my right hon. and gallant Friend Bob Stewart; I thank him for bringing his personal experience into the debate.

We also heard from Jim Shannon. Returning to the question of Northern Ireland veterans, I would like to be clear. I mentioned earlier that Her Majesty’s Government intend to bring forward legislation in relation to Northern Ireland. The House will understand that I cannot comment on any ongoing legal matters, but I will give the reassurance that we are absolutely committed to delivering on our commitments to veterans of Op Banner as soon as possible.

In closing, I would like to put on record my sincere thanks to the Bill team, who have been first class throughout, and in particular to the Bill manager, Richard Hartell. It is to their great credit that we have brought the Bill to this point. If the House accepts the Government amendments in lieu and rejects Lords amendment 5B, the Bill will allow us to deliver on our manifesto commitment—our solemn pledge—to protect our armed forces personnel and our veterans and bring an end to the shameful cycle of vexatious legal claims brought against our finest asset: our people. I commend the Bill to the House.

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved,

That this House agrees with the Lords in their amendment 1R but disagrees with the Lords in their amendments 1S, 1T and 1U.

Government amendments (a) to (c) made in lieu of Lords amendments 1S, 1T and 1U.

Government manuscript amendments (d) and (e) made.