Sunday, August 01, 2021

Update: The Public Bill Committee which has been considering the Overseas Operations etc Bill has now completed its work and has reported the Bill without amendments to the House of Commons. 

The Bill is now due to have its report stage and third reading on Tuesday 3 November 2020. Amendments can be made to the Bill at Report Stage. The Bill then goes to the House of Lords. Our article below is now archived.

URGENT - Do you have relevant expertise and experience or a special interest in the Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill, which is currently passing through Parliament?

If so, you can submit your views in writing to the House of Commons Public Bill Committee which is going to consider this Bill.

Many of BAFF's members and supporters have served on overseas operations, and we know that some have views and experience to offer in relation to the Bill.

If you want to submit evidence, you need to be quick:

The first sitting of the Public Bill Committee is on Tuesday 6 October 2020 and the Committee is scheduled to report by Thursday 22 October 2020. However, the Committee may well complete its consideration of the Bill earlier than the expected deadline of 5.00pm on Thursday 22 October 2020. You are strongly advised to submit your written evidence as soon as possible.

For more info see HERE (Parliament UK link).

Can currently serving personnel submit evidence? The relevant DIN "Contact with Parliamentarians (2019DIN05-14) says you can't, without advance permission.

All contact between members of the armed forces and MOD civilians and Parliamentarians must be authorised in advance through Ministers, their offices or the Parliamentary Branch. These rules do not apply to members of the armed forces or MOD civilians contacting their constituency MP on a personal matter.

See also "Contact with the media and communicating in public" (2020DIN03-005).

We believe that serving personnel have submitted evidence before without any action being taken against them, but we wouldn't recommend it without authorisation. If you are a full BAFF member and would like us to include your experience or views anonymously in a BAFF submission to the Bill Committee, please get in touch with us quickly and confidentially using the site contact form.

BAFF contributed to the original MoD consultation about the Bill and supports the stated aims of the Bill.

Some of the detailed provisions have changed since the original consultation. At this stage when the Bill has already passed its Second Reading in the House of Commons, we continue to support the stated aims but are considering criticisms which have been made of the Bill, including alleged unintended consequences, and are preparing to submit evidence to the Bill Committee. Our evidence would be based on an urgent BAFF internal consultation.