Immunity for Soldiers — [Mrs Madeleine Moon in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 6:25 pm on 20th May 2019.

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Photo of James Heappey James Heappey Conservative, Wells 6:25 pm, 20th May 2019

I very much agree. My hon. Friend is right that the political angle to this is most unfortunate. I will come to that later in my remarks.

I am deeply concerned by any suggestion of equivalence between the actions that I and so many other service personnel have taken on operations and the actions taken by terrorists out to take life illegally. There is no equivalence. In the debate on the urgent question on Thursday morning, the Government deployed a disappointing line, which seemed to suggest that comfort letters would not endure and, if they did not, all would therefore be open to prosecution. Although that corrects an imbalance, by definition it creates an equivalence, in which we say, “At least both sides can be investigated and prosecuted.” That is simply not acceptable: there is no equivalence.