Designation of international agreements for purposes of section 52 of Investigatory Powers Act 2016

Part of Crime (Overseas Production Orders) Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 3:30 pm on 30th January 2019.

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Photo of Edward Davey Edward Davey Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Home Affairs) 3:30 pm, 30th January 2019

I hear what the Minister says, and I know that he knows there is not a lot between us on this, because we are all trying to get to the same objectives. However, the points he makes could be argued against the US position, and because we are close allies, we could close that gap. It would not be terribly great for Senators to oppose this Bill—they have Senate ratification —as they would be held to account by their citizens for getting in the way of sharing information to catch paedophiles.

As British politicians here, from all sides and including the Minister, we should stand up for British principles. Yes, we want to catch these appalling criminals, but we must make sure that we advance justice and human rights. I do not think we should see these things as separate and deal with them separately—we can bring them together. It would be a good step for this House to stand up for this principle, which we all share and which is and has for a long time been Government policy, and say to our close friends in the US that we believe we can come to some agreement.

The Minister made it clear in his response that the treaty is still in development. Nick Thomas-Symonds talked about how a lot of people in the US, particularly in the State Department, are expecting us to do this, so it is not unreasonable that we do, and I hope that the Minister, who is highly respected across this House and whose Bill we utterly support, can understand why we are trying to make this extra push. We are doing this to help him in his negotiations.