Terrorist Organisations

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:45 pm on 30th October 2001.

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Photo of Lord Rooker Lord Rooker Minister of State (Asylum and Immigration), Home Office, Minister (Home Office) (Asylum & Immigration) 2:45 pm, 30th October 2001

My Lords, the short answer to the noble Lord's question is yes. If someone is identified as a terrorist, regardless of their country of origin, they cannot seek protection under the terms of the asylum convention. The convention is a complex instrument and covers more than the one sentence generally referred to. In such a case, we would take action. Certain caveats would apply, but I stress that this country is not a safe haven for terrorists. Asylum legislation and the convention cannot be used by anyone against whom evidence has been gathered which indicates that they have committed terrorist offences. Furthermore, the interests of national security would apply, and such people could not seek the protection of the European convention or the Human Rights Act. In the interests of our own national security, such people could still be removed.