In Defence Questions, James Sunderland seeks assurances on the publication of the statutory guidance for the Armed Forces Bill and on the resolution of legacy issues affecting Northern Ireland veterans.
Veterans: Protection from Vexatious Claims
What steps his Department is taking to protect veterans from vexatious legal claims. (900386)
On 29 April 2021, we delivered the Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans)
Act 2021, which is a landmark piece of legislation that will mean that our armed forces in the future can deploy with confidence when they are going around the world to do their duty.
I believe that support for our veterans continues to improve under this Government, but, as the Minister knows, there are two pressing issues that require immediate resolution: Northern Ireland legacy; and the statutory guidance for the Armed Forces Bill. Will he please assure me that both are forthcoming?
First, let me say how grateful I am for the work that my hon. Friend does in supporting veterans, particularly with the all-party parliamentary group on veterans and with other activities; it is appreciated. The statutory guidance will be published shortly. We are cognisant that the Armed Forces Bill needs to have teeth, and that statutory guidance will be part of our approach. When it comes to Northern Ireland, we have a shared interest in ensuring that this is dealt with. The Government will in due course bring forward a package that delivers for veterans, victims and their families.