Shamima Begum and Other Cases

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:41 pm on 11th March 2019.

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Photo of Julian Lewis Julian Lewis Chair, Defence Committee 4:41 pm, 11th March 2019

Can I follow the logic a little further about what is necessary to keep British society safe? I am sure that people on both sides of the House believe that the best way to deal with something such as this would be for each country to take people back, put them through the court process, prosecute them and, if necessary, imprison them. The problem is: what do we do when we do not have an offence for which a person can be prosecuted? We now have a new offence of entering a designated area. What is the maximum prison sentence that someone would serve if convicted of that offence? If it is a very short period, will the Home Secretary consider upgrading the law on treason—as was done temporarily during the second world war—to ensure that anyone who comes back will serve a very long sentence? It takes between 20 and 25 security service operatives to cover a single suspect 24/7, and that is simply impossible when there are hundreds of such suspects.