Prevention and Suppression of Terrorism

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:17 pm on 15th February 2006.

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Photo of Hazel Blears Hazel Blears Minister of State (Home Office) (Policing, Security and Community Safety), Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee 5:17 pm, 15th February 2006

Lord Carlile makes a number of recommendations on how the position might be improved. He also makes recommendations on keeping the prohibitions under regular review. We agree with him in regard to both those recommendations. The principle behind his recommendation on providing more information is absolutely sound. We should have as much information as possible about why a prosecution is not possible, but in some cases the information is based on intelligence and we have to take into account the operational implications when determining how much information can be put forward, particularly if it is to be disclosable in proceedings. Lord Carlile also makes reference to that. So, although it is a sound recommendation in principle, we want to take a little more time to consider the operational implications for the cases involved.

Deportation is also an option for foreign nationals, as removal can provide an alternative means of disrupting their activity and reducing the threat to national security. Again, however, this is not always possible, although we have made considerable progress in agreeing memorandums of understanding with a number of countries, which will provide a means by which individuals can safely be returned to their countries of origin.