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Armed Forces Veterans

Volume 651: debated on Wednesday 12 December 2018

This Government are clear that it is only due to the unstinting efforts of our police and armed forces that we have relative peace and stability in Northern Ireland today. I was honoured to meet the Reserve Forces and Cadets Association for Northern Ireland recently when launching the veterans strategy there.

Will the Secretary of State ensure that any proposals that she brings forward to deal with the legacy of the past are balanced and proportionate, and that our brave veterans are fairly treated?

Three hundred and nineteen Royal Ulster Constabulary officers murdered, 258 Ulster Defence Regiment soldiers murdered, and over 200 of those cases unresolved—what is the Secretary of State going to do to bring justice to those gallant members from our community?

The hon. Gentleman puts it very well. We need to see this issue dealt with. The current system is not working for anybody. We need to see it resolved. We are working through almost 18,000 responses to the consultation and we look forward to working across the House to find a resolution that works for everyone.

The Secretary of State is also proposing to support some of the 500 victims of the troubles with a victims pension. Can she tell us when the first payments will be made?

The hon. Gentleman knows better than anyone that this is a devolved matter. It is a frustration that we do not have an Assembly and an Executive in place to make these decisions, but I want to see progress made.