News   /   Military

Home Office and MoD accused of 'neglecting' former foreign soldiers

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Soldiers from Fiji and other Commonwealth countries increasingly fill the ranks of the British army

In a case set to expose the British army’s exploitation of foreign soldiers, a group of veterans have lodged a legal complaint against both the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Home Office.

The complaint centres on alleged “systematic failure” to help the former soldiers with “complex” and “unaffordable” immigration rules on discharge from the armed forces.

The foreign ex-soldiers contend that the MoD’s and Home Office’s failure to help them led to their being classified as “illegal immigrants”, thus exposing them to a wide range of socio-economic disadvantages, including “unemployment” and “homelessness”.

As part of their legal action, the former soldiers are also arguing that they feared “deportation” after their discharge from the army.

The effort is being described as “unprecedented” on account of the fact it is a group action against two separate government departments.

The group action involves eight ex-soldiers from Fiji who have all served between seven and 12 years in the British army.

But it is widely believed that “hundreds” of ex-service personnel are similarly affected. Most of these former soldiers are from Commonwealth countries, which the MoD aggressively targets to fill human resource gaps in the army.

Leading British defence specialists have highlighted the gap between the MoD’s enthusiasm to recruit foreign soldiers from the Commonwealth and the poor or non-existent after-service care it provides them.

More broadly, this case highlights the chronic manpower challenges faced by the British army – and to a lesser extent other branches of the armed forces – where young British nationals have by and large turned their backs on the military.     

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku