New Clause 6 — Power to make control orders

Part of Orders of the Day — Prevention of Terrorism Bill – in the House of Commons at 11:40 pm on 28th February 2005.

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Photo of Richard Shepherd Richard Shepherd Conservative, Aldridge-Brownhills 11:40 pm, 28th February 2005

I hope that my hon. and learned Friend will forgive me if I do not give way, because I want to concentrate our minds on exactly what we are doing.

If we vote for the Bill, it is an expression by the House that it believes in every clause and detail of it. All the arguments that we have heard today, including the exegesis by the Home Secretary, have demonstrated again and again in which way and what way the Bill is flawed. Some of us feel deeply and passionately that it is flawed because it touches on the very intimacy of the relationship of the British citizen to the British state. It suggests fundamentally and profoundly to many of us that the due process of law is that we should know with what we are charged, and we should be able to answer that charge before we lose our liberty. That is so profound and fundamental that the justification for change must be clear and overwhelming. That is not in the Bill.

What the Bill says relates to orders. As Barbara Follett so compellingly told the House last Wednesday, the pass laws of South Africa stand out as a beacon of what we should not do. The actions taken by Mr. Mugabe in pursuit of his ends or by the Burmese junta are not appropriate for this country. That passionate belief has been expounded across the Floor of the House both last Wednesday and again today, but we come back to what we do when the vote on Third Reading is called.

The Bill must not be passed even in the terms that the Home Secretary has presented us with this afternoon, when he says that this is not the Bill that the country will be presented with if it becomes an Act of Parliament. If that is the case, how can we be self-respecting and stand up for the rights and appropriateness of the House by voting for the Bill when we know that it is not the Act of Parliament that will pass? So we should, in our sense of being who we are as a Parliament, reject it.

It being one hour after commencement of proceedings on the motion, Mr. Deputy Speaker put forthwith the Question already proposed from the Chair, pursuant to Order [23 February and this day].