I support the Royal British Legion’s ‘Stop the Service Charge’ campaign.
I understand that the fees for Indefinite Leave to Remain faced by former members of the UK Armed Forces from the Commonwealth, and their families, are £2,389 per person. This is a huge financial burden to place on the shoulders of the men and women who have put their lives on the line for our country.
In April, the Immigration Minister stated that the Government had no current plans to exempt Commonwealth nationals who have served in HM Forces, or their immediate family members, from these fees.
However, following pressure from both inside and outside of Parliament, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence has said that the Ministry of Defence is in discussions with the Home Office on this issue.
The Government should consider this issue sympathetically, to show our country’s gratitude to the Commonwealth personnel who have served.
British Armed Forces have recruited from Commonwealth nations to support intervention in major global conflicts for many years, from World War I to the present day. Commonwealth personnel continue to provide important and significant support to our armed forces.
I pay tribute to the work of our service men and women and their commitment to keeping us safe.