Armed Forces Discipline Bill [Lords] — 17 Feb 2000

[Relevant document: The Fourth Report from the Defence Committee of Session 1999-2000, on the Armed Forces Discipline Bill (HC 253).]

Order for Second Reading read.

I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time.

Before dealing with the substance of the Bill, I should like to thank the Select Committee on Defence for finding the time to consider the Bill and for publishing its report in such a timely fashion. I shall address some of the issues concerning the Bill that have been raised in the report. However, I should first like to address a couple of more general points on which the report comments.

I beg to move, To leave out from "That" to the end of the Question, and to add instead thereof:

"this House declines to give a Second Reading to the Armed Forces Discipline Bill [Lords] because it adds unnecessary administrative burdens and costs to Her Majesty's Forces, proposes hasty and impractical solutions to the administration of military law for forces on active service, transfers to civilians powers which rightly lie with the chain of military command, and, furthermore, because it fails to address urgent issues affecting the fundamental human rights of military personnel and their dependants, including deficiencies in the provision of legal aid and delays in the processes of military law, such as redress of grievance procedures, and because it has the effect of postponing yet again both consolidation of the Army, Navy and Air Force Discipline Acts and consideration of a single tri-service Discipline Act."

One or two people might not agree. That is not quite so convincing if the home football team cannot be viewed in real time or if "EastEnders" or "Brookside" cannot be watched live. We are unconvinced about the potential of video conferencing.

We hope to report before the next quinquennial review is undertaken. I assure hon. Members that I have concerns, but I sympathise with the Government, who simply had no option. I would have hoped that Opposition Members appreciated that.

Question put, That the amendment be made:--

The House divided: Ayes 134, Noes 298.

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Party Summary

Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.

What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.

What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.

What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.

PartyMajority (No)Minority (Aye)BothTurnout
Con0 133 (+2 tell)083.9%
Lab284 (+2 tell) 0068.6%
LDem14 0030.4%
UUP0 1010.0%
Total:298 134068.8%

Rebel Voters - sorted by party

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible MP who could have voted in this division

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no rebellions

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