Counter-Terrorism Bill

– in the House of Lords at 3:08 pm on 17th November 2008.

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Photo of Lord Lloyd of Berwick Lord Lloyd of Berwick Chair, Ecclesiastical Committee (Joint Committee), Chair, Ecclesiastical Committee (Joint Committee) 3:09 pm, 17th November 2008

moved Amendment No. 1:

After Clause 22, insert the following new Clause—

"Independent Commissioner for Terrorist Suspects

(1) The Secretary of State shall appoint a person to be known as the Independent Commissioner for Terrorist Suspects (the "Commissioner").

(2) The principal function of the Commissioner shall be to monitor the detention and treatment of terrorist suspects held under section 41 and Schedule 8 to the Terrorism Act 2000 (c. 11). He shall also perform such other related functions as the Secretary of State may from time to time determine.

(3) The Secretary of State may appoint not more than two deputy Commissioners to assist the Commissioner in the performance of his duties.

(4) The police shall give the Commissioner such assistance as he may reasonably require to enable him to perform his functions.

(5) The Commissioner shall make an annual report to Parliament as to the carrying out of his functions under this section."

Photo of Lord Lloyd of Berwick Lord Lloyd of Berwick Chair, Ecclesiastical Committee (Joint Committee), Chair, Ecclesiastical Committee (Joint Committee)

My Lords, this is a shortened version of the amendment that I moved on Report. The noble Lord, Lord West, was good enough to say that he would accept the substance of that amendment. This shortened version spells out the substance of the amendment as I see it, and I had hoped that it might have been agreed in time for Third Reading. That has not proved possible. The noble Lord needs more time, and of course I accept and understand that. I will not divide the House on the amendment. At least this amendment at Third Reading gives the noble Lord the opportunity to say again what the Government intend to do about this proposal. I live in hope that he will be able to find a slot for it, perhaps in some forthcoming criminal justice Bill but, at any rate, during the next Session. I beg to move.

Photo of Lord Howarth of Newport Lord Howarth of Newport Labour

My Lords, briefly, the new amendment that has been tabled by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Lloyd of Berwick, deserves the most constructive consideration, simply on the principle that if—it is no longer part of this Bill but it is part of the Government's intention—we are liable to take actions that may be necessary and in the public interest to curtail civil liberties, it is even more important, if it can be, than it otherwise would be, that we should be utterly scrupulous in ensuring that the manner in which people are detained and the manner in which legal proceedings are taken against them should match the highest possible standards. The safeguard that the noble and learned Lord proposes in the substance of his proposal must be right. I very much hope that my noble friend will be able to respond in a constructive spirit.

Photo of Lord West of Spithead Lord West of Spithead Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Security and Counter-terrorism), Home Office, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) (Security and Counter-terrorism)

My Lords, the Government absolutely accept the substance of what the noble and learned Lord, Lord Lloyd, is trying to achieve, and we have had considerable negotiations and discussions about this. We accept that there is a need for an independent commissioner for terrorist suspects. It is a lot more difficult actually to achieve these things than when one is an admiral achieving something in the Navy. Trying to get all the people together, and trying to get them to agree to all the various bits and pieces, whether it is the Crown Prosecution Service, what exactly happens in Scotland and Northern Ireland, whether we need something in the regions, aspects of the judiciary; there are a whole raft of things to be debated. Although initially, being a slightly hasty naval type, I thought we should be able to get something down, I accept that it is important that we do not legislate in haste and do not get this wrong.

I absolutely make a commitment that we intend to go down this route. Given that, I ask the noble and learned Lord to withdraw his amendment. I thank the noble and learned Lord for pursuing this initiative, which he first talked about with me some 12 months ago. It is an important measure, and it is an issue that the Government believe is of value. Certainly, even if some people do not think it is, the perception is very important, and it is of value. I give a commitment that we will do something. I cannot promise exactly which bit of legislation we will fit it into. If I did so, I would probably get it wrong. We are absolutely committed to doing something, and on that basis I ask for the amendment to be withdrawn.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 44 [Offences to which this Part applies: offences having a terrorist connection]:

Photo of Lord West of Spithead Lord West of Spithead Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Security and Counter-terrorism), Home Office, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) (Security and Counter-terrorism)

moved Amendment No. 2:

Clause 44, page 32, line 26, leave out subsection (1) and insert—

"( ) This Part applies to—

(a) an offence as to which a court has determined under section 32 (sentences for offences with a terrorist connection: England and Wales) that the offence has a terrorist connection, and(b) an offence in relation to which section 33 applies (sentences for offences with terrorist connection: Scotland)."

Photo of Lord West of Spithead Lord West of Spithead Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Security and Counter-terrorism), Home Office, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) (Security and Counter-terrorism)

My Lords, I shall speak to Amendments Nos. 2 to 4. Amendments Nos. 2 and 3 improve the drafting in relation to the provision that the notification requirements attach to offences with a terrorist connection, taking account of the differences in the system attaching to such offences for Scotland. Amendment No. 4 is consequential to the amendments that we made on Report to the notification requirements that varied the time periods for which notification requirements would apply. The amendment would ensure that if a person subject to a notification requirement has their sentence varied, the notification period would be altered accordingly. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Photo of Lord West of Spithead Lord West of Spithead Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Security and Counter-terrorism), Home Office, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) (Security and Counter-terrorism)

moved Amendment No. 3:

Clause 44, page 32, line 33, after "determination" insert "as is mentioned in subsection (1)(a)"

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 63 [References to a person being "dealt with" for an offence]:

Photo of Lord West of Spithead Lord West of Spithead Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Security and Counter-terrorism), Home Office, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) (Security and Counter-terrorism)

moved Amendment No. 4:

Clause 63, page 45, line 42, leave out paragraph (d) and insert—

"(d) if the sentence is varied so as to become one by virtue of which the notification requirements would apply for a different period, the period for which those requirements apply shall be determined as if the sentence as varied had been imposed at the time of the original decision;"

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 65 [Application to set aside financial restrictions decision]:

Photo of Lord Myners Lord Myners Parliamentary Secretary, HM Treasury 3:15 pm, 17th November 2008

moved Amendment No. 5:

Clause 65, page 47, line 30, at end insert—

"( ) This section does not apply to any decision of the Treasury to make an order under paragraph 8 or 28(6) of Schedule 7 to this Act.

Photo of Lord Myners Lord Myners Parliamentary Secretary, HM Treasury

My Lords,

My Lords, I beg to move Amendment No. 5. I will speak also to government Amendments Nos. 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19. Last week, we had a good discussion on the provisions to which these amendments relate. I thank your Lordships for the constructive and helpful manner of that debate which was particularly useful given the importance of these measures and the unfortunately brief time your Lordships have had to consider these provisions. As these amendments mainly concern issues outlined in our previous discussion, many of which were first raised by noble Lords on the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Benches, I will attempt to be brief.

Amendment No. 5 seeks to remove from the application of Clause 65 the order-making power in paragraph 8 of the schedule which enables the Treasury to alter the definition of persons operating in the financial sector, and to whom it could therefore give directions, and the order-making power in paragraph 28(6) of the schedule which provides for appeals to be made to the VAT, Financial Services and Markets, or Consumer Credit Appeals Tribunals rather than to the first-tier or upper tribunals to manage the transitional process here. The effect of this amendment is that challenges to orders made under paragraph 8 and paragraph 28(6) will be subject to the normal judicial review procedure rather than to the procedure in Part 6 of the Bill. I hope your Lordships will agree that this is a more appropriate procedure given the nature of such orders.

Amendment No. 8 seeks to address a point that was raised in the 15th report of this Session of the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee in relation to these provisions. Specifically, the committee recommended that the order-making power provided for in paragraph 8 of the schedule should be more explicit in its intention to allow for purely technical adjustments of the definition or be made subject to the affirmative rather than the negative resolution procedure. I said on Report that I would give careful consideration to the committee's recommendations. I appreciate the efforts of the committee to scrutinise our provisions at short notice as well as the useful part its members and ex-members played in our previous debate. This amendment seeks to address the committee's recommendations by now providing for an affirmative order in this case. I thank my noble friend Lord Harris of Haringey for raising this matter.

Amendment No. 9 provides for an explicit requirement on the Treasury to apply these powers proportionately, according to the risks that they are seeking to address. This requirement was discussed on Report and the noble Baroness, Lady Neville-Jones, was keen to see it addressed in the Bill. As I have previously assured noble Lords, proportionality is an important requirement for the operation of any administrative order of this type and I am happy to recognise this explicitly in the legislation.

I will briefly take Amendment No. 18 out of order as it similarly addresses another matter that I consider essential to the proper and effective use of these powers— the production of guidance for industry on their implementation. Such guidance by industry bodies and supervisors plays a valuable role in our current anti-money-laundering regime. As with the previous amendment, the noble Baroness, Lady Neville-Jones, was rightly concerned that the Treasury should assist relevant bodies to produce this guidance. I have assured the noble Baroness that this would be the case—it is, after all, in our interests to ensure that it is as simple as possible for business to implement our directions—but I am happy to accommodate such a requirement directly in the Bill.

Amendment No. 10 substitutes "undertake" for "take" in line 18, thereby ensuring consistent terminology throughout the provisions. This reflects the point raised by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Mayhew, on Report. I thank him for his observation.

Amendment No. 15 simply leaves out lines 27 and 28 on page 101 of the Bill, thereby removing a typographical error which had made its way into the provisions.

Amendments Nos. 16 and 17 are moved in response to the issues which the noble Lord, Lord Thomas of Gresford, helpfully raised on Report on behalf of the Liberal Democrats and in relation to provisions in paragraph 34(1) of the schedule which replicated those of Clause 29 of the Bill concerning jurisdiction over offences. As I undertook on Report, these amendments alter those provisions so that they now apply only to offences committed outside the United Kingdom.

The final amendment I am concerned with today, Amendment No. 19, is merely intended to clarify the situation regarding the use of any penalties received by the FSA in its supervisory role. As is standard, and as is the case for the FSA's other supervisory actions under the money-laundering regime, this amendment provides for any penalties received to be applied against expenses incurred in connection with its functions. This provision also reflects the position in respect of penalties imposed by the FSA under its powers under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, which must be applied for the benefit of authorised persons.

I hope I have sufficiently explained all the amendments. I believe that, save the odd minor adjustment, they all reflect issues and concerns that were recognised on Report. I hope noble Lords agree that they will all usefully improve the provisions and that they can support them. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 81 [Control orders: powers of entry and search]:

Photo of Lord West of Spithead Lord West of Spithead Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Security and Counter-terrorism), Home Office, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) (Security and Counter-terrorism)

moved Amendment No. 6:

Clause 81, page 56, leave out lines 18 to 20 and insert—

"(b) other premises to which the controlled person is required to grant access in accordance with an obligation imposed by or under the control order;(c) any premises—(i) to which the controlled person has previously been required to grant access in accordance with an obligation imposed by or under a control order, and(ii) with which there is reason to believe that the controlled person is or was recently connected."

Photo of Lord West of Spithead Lord West of Spithead Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Security and Counter-terrorism), Home Office, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) (Security and Counter-terrorism)

My Lords, on Report I mentioned that I proposed to table an amendment to what is now Clause 81 of the Bill to deal with an issue raised in Committee by the noble Baroness, Lady Miller of Chilthorne Domer. Clause 81 strengthens police powers to enter and search the premises of individuals subject to a control order. It is intended to fill gaps in the powers of the police to investigate more effectively breaches of control order obligations and to ensure the police can more effectively monitor compliance with, and enforcement of, control order obligations.

The noble Baroness expressed concern about whether the definition of premises in the clause was sufficiently tightly worded and in particular whether the wording, at least in theory, gave the police powers to search premises that were no longer connected with the controlled individual in any way. Although the noble Baroness acknowledged that it did not seem likely that the police would undertake an inappropriate search, we agreed to see whether the drafting of the relevant powers could be improved to ensure the desirable clarity in the Bill.

We believe that Amendments Nos. 6 and 7 will deliver that clarity by amending the definition of premises in new Sections 7A and 7C of the 2005 Act. The new definitions will allow entry to three categories of property: the controlled person's place of residence; other premises that the controlled person is required to grant access to as part of the control order obligations; and any premises to which the controlled individual was required to grant access to in the past and with which there is reason to believe that the controlled person is or was recently connected.

The key difference between this formulation and the one currently in the Bill is the addition of the explicit requirement that, for past premises, there must be reason to believe that there is or was a recent connection between the controlled person and the premises. That formulation will cover any premises which, for example, are still occupied or owned by a relative, friend or other associate of the individual or property that the controlled individual left only recently. However, it will not cover premises that were occupied by the controlled individual but which are now occupied by a member of the public with no connection whatever with the controlled individual. We think that this is a good amendment and we thank the noble Baroness for her intervention on that point. I beg to move.

Photo of Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer Spokesperson in the Lords, Home Affairs

My Lords, I thank the Minister for listening to me on that matter and for coming forward with an improving amendment.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Photo of Lord West of Spithead Lord West of Spithead Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Security and Counter-terrorism), Home Office, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) (Security and Counter-terrorism)

moved Amendment No. 7:

Clause 81, page 57, leave out lines 6 to 8 and insert—

"(b) other premises to which the controlled person is required to grant access in accordance with an obligation imposed by or under the control order;(c) any premises—(i) to which the controlled person has previously been required to grant access in accordance with an obligation imposed by or under a control order, and(ii) with which there is reason to believe that the controlled person is or was recently connected."

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Schedule 7 [Terrorist financing and money laundering]:

Photo of Lord West of Spithead Lord West of Spithead Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Security and Counter-terrorism), Home Office, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) (Security and Counter-terrorism)

moved Amendments Nos. 8 to 10:

Schedule 7, page 89, line 29, leave out "negative" and insert "affirmative"

Schedule 7, page 90, line 10, at end insert—

"( ) The requirements imposed by a direction must be proportionate having regard to the advice mentioned in paragraph 1(2) or, as the case may be, the risk mentioned in paragraph 1(3) or (4) to the national interests of the United Kingdom."

Schedule 7, page 90, line 18, leave out "take" and insert "undertake"

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Photo of Lord Marlesford Lord Marlesford Conservative

moved Amendment No. 11:

Schedule 7, page 94, line 28, leave out paragraph 20

Photo of Lord Marlesford Lord Marlesford Conservative

My Lords, I am disappointed that the Government should treat Parliament in the way that they did last week when they added a massive amendment on Report. New Schedule 7, which my amendment relates to, consists of 23 pages of fresh legislation that is only tangentially related to the Bill. It is extremely technical and needs detailed discussion in Committee. That would have given the House a proper opportunity to hear representations from interested parties on the amendment. There was a mere one and a half hours of debate with six speakers, including the Minister and the two noble Lords from the Opposition Front Benches. This is no way to legislate. It is an insult to the democratic process. I personally regret that those on the Opposition Front Benches seem to have yielded to government pressure on the method that was used. I totally acquit the noble Lord, Lord West, on this action. The schedule was grafted on to his Bill and we all support his Bill, especially after the improvements which have already been made in your Lordships' House.

This sort of thing will not happen in the United States under President-elect Obama. Among his other great qualities, he is a brilliant constitutional lawyer and has a huge respect for constitutional proprieties. Indeed, I was told last night by one of his Democrat colleagues that he places the maintenance of the American constitution second only to his wife and children in his priorities.

Playing fast and loose with the constitution has been one of the major failings of the Bush Administration; it is also one of the major failings of this Government. What could and should the Government have done? To delay this Bill would not have been sensible. The obvious alternative would have been to introduce a separate Bill. Twenty-three pages of complicated legislation is quite enough for a separate Bill. It could then have been given whatever priority the Government's business managers thought appropriate.

What was the great rush? The Minister did not give a convincing explanation last week. He referred to a meeting of the Financial Action Task Force, a body which most people have never heard of. Those of us who serve on Sub-Committee F of the EU Select Committee, however, will learn a lot because we are about to embark on a detailed study of the problems of money laundering in relation to EU directives.

The noble Lord, Lord Myners, wanted the 34 members of FATF to take further preventive action on money laundering, terrorist financing and what the Minister described as proliferation financing. He never actually explained what that meant and the great majority of those I have asked in your Lordships' House have no idea what it means. It actually means finance which could be used to develop chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. It shows the attitude of the Treasury to your Lordships' House that it did not think it necessary to put a clear explanation of it in the Minister's speech last week.

I have now read the FATF statement on the 16 October meeting, which was put forward as the need for this hurry. It refers only to potential problems with Iran, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Pakistan and Northern Cyprus. It is perfectly clear that there is no such urgency as to justify this treatment of Parliament. The real clue was when the noble Lord, Lord Myners, said:

"The UK has been and will continue to be at the forefront of the international call for action and efforts to protect the international system from these threats".—[Hansard, 11/11/08; col. 579.]

For a cosmetic advantage, the Government are prepared to steamroller this schedule through Parliament. I wish they would adopt that old Latin tag, esse quam vidire—to be rather than to seem to be. There are probably many imperfections in this hastily drafted schedule, and indeed the Minister has been seeking to correct some of them this afternoon. The one I am putting forward is on the powers of entry.

Earlier this year my noble friend Lord Selsdon took through his excellent Bill to limit the greatly extended use of powers of entry without warrant. It received its Third Reading in your Lordships' House on 17 July. The Government gave the impression that they were sympathetic to my noble friend's Bill. Indeed, we were told that the Prime Minister himself was keen to correct the overuse of entry without warrant and that they would consider their own Bill for this purpose. Perhaps the Prime Minister is even considering including it in the gracious Speech. Well, in this schedule they have produced a prime example—perhaps I should say a sub-prime example—of the need for such a Bill. The power in paragraph 20 to enter without a warrant, which I seek to remove, demonstrates how this whole schedule has been hastily cobbled together from other bits of legislation. I shall give one example. Paragraph 18 lists those who have powers of entry into any business premises without a warrant—we should bear in mind what the object of the schedule is—including at sub-paragraph (2)(e), "a local enforcement officer". For the avoidance of doubt, sub-paragraph (3)(a) states:

"A 'local enforcement officer' means ... an officer of a local weights and measures authority".

I can imagine Mr Entry, a Suffolk County Council local enforcement officer, calling on my local butcher in Wickham Market and saying to him, "Mr Revett, I have not come to check the weight or shape of your excellent sausages this morning, but you have never revealed the secret formula which makes them so delicious and sought-after throughout East Anglia and beyond. Well, Mr Revett, some powerful people in Whitehall—I am not at liberty to mention their names, of course—have suggested that they might contain proliferation finance. I don't rightly know what that means, but I am afraid I am going to have to open up some of your sausages to determine whether there could be any truth in the allegation".

Let us improve the schedule in a small way by sweeping away paragraph 20 and leaving the Government with paragraph 21 which contains all the powers of entry they could possibly need, and probably many more. But at least they would have to use a magistrate to determine whether their desire for entry makes any sense under this law. I beg to move.

n

I think it will come as a surprise to the many British passport holders and Turkish Cypriots in the TRNC that the British government thinks that the TRNC is involved in money laundering,terrorist financing and providing financing for chemical, biological or neuclear weapons.
It is also a bit sad that the government lumps the North of Cyprus with Uzbekistan,Turkmenistan and Pakistan.
It is as if Britain has no interest in the peace conference going on at the moment.
I think that Lord Myners should either give us the facts he bases this on or apologise to the Turkish Cypriots!

Submitted by neil Regan

Photo of Lord Selsdon Lord Selsdon Conservative 3:30 pm, 17th November 2008

My Lords, as the noble Lord who introduced the Powers of Entry Bill after some 15 years' work, it behoves me to intervene. I did not wish to do so in this Bill, but by some strange act of cunning, new powers of entry have suddenly appeared to go with the 1,137 powers of entry that have so far been identified. I thought that I had reached an agreement with the noble Lord, Lord West, that this Bill, which is passing through the House with great support, would not push this matter to the limit, but that jointly with the Home Office we would sit down and identify all the Bills that give powers of entry for an official to go into a person's premises and search, seize and effectively spy without a warrant.

I have a problem in that I do not want to oppose the Bill, but the moral feeling within me says that I cannot possibly support yet another power of entry without warrant without going through the process that I thought we had agreed with the noble Lord, Lord West. I ought to declare an interest because with the help of the Home Office, we have set up a mixed public and private Bill team that is gradually identifying more and more powers of entry from different ministries. Responses to the questions I have asked over time reveal that the problem is that government departments do not know what their powers of entry are. The Home Office team, a good one, is trying to find them out. I spoke to a member of the team the day before yesterday to say that I was going to be almost forced to intervene in this matter, and he said that the team was getting on but was still failing to get responses from various government departments about what those powers of entry are. I shall not repeat the concept of the Bill or its details, but I refer noble Lords to the enormous schedule that was produced jointly with the Government. All we said was that there should be a code of conduct when people seek to go into people's premises, and that they should not go in without a warrant or a court order, except by agreement and during certain periods of the day.

It pleases me much that the President of the Board of Trade is in his place because he will be well aware that the original council of trade became the Board of Trade. In 1918, when there were certain rules for co-operation and regulation, these matters were discussed. In 1702, the Bishop of London became a member of the council of trade; he was later replaced by the Archbishop of Canterbury. I am proposing to introduce a new Bill to reintroduce the Board of Trade because it had within it all His—or Her—Majesty's Secretaries of State, members of the Privy Council and others. When the Minister replies, will he urge all the Secretaries of State to whom I have addressed questions over the years to produce, as a matter of urgency, the schedules giving their departments' powers of entry because surely they should know what their powers of entry are. I feel much more relaxed knowing that the President of the Board of Trade is in this House. He is the supreme arbiter and has the right to call upon those people to deliver the information we require. However, until that happens, I am obliged, with great regret, to support the amendment moved by my noble friend.

Photo of Lord Thomas of Gresford Lord Thomas of Gresford Spokesperson in the Lords (Shadow Attorney General), Home Affairs

My Lords, I follow the noble Lord, Lord Marlesford, in questioning what the local weights and measures authority has to do with terrorist financing and money laundering. I note that under Clause 20(3):

"An officer may exercise powers ... only if the information or document sought to be obtained as a result is reasonably required in connection with the exercise by the enforcement authority for whom the officer acts of its functions under this Schedule".

For which enforcement authority does the officer of a local weights and measures authority act? Is it, under Clause 18(1), the Financial Services Authority? I would not have thought so. Is it the Commissioners of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs? I would not have thought the local weights and measures authority would have anything to do with them. Is it the Office of Fair Trading? Possibly, but in what circumstances is it envisaged that it would be involved in terrorist financing and money laundering? Is this not just a wide spread of powers without any thought about the circumstances those powers can be used in? I look forward to hearing an explanation from the Minister about exactly what the Government have in mind.

Photo of Lord Lloyd of Berwick Lord Lloyd of Berwick Chair, Ecclesiastical Committee (Joint Committee), Chair, Ecclesiastical Committee (Joint Committee)

My Lords, I do not know whether the Minister will be able to provide an example of when an enforcement officer would need to make an entry under Clause 20 when it would not be possible for him to obtain a warrant under Clause 21. Unless he can give a solid example, I shall feel compelled to vote with the noble Lord, Lord Marlesford.

Photo of Lord Myners Lord Myners Parliamentary Secretary, HM Treasury

My Lords, on Report, I explained in some detail why this amendment was tabled at a late point and gave context to the work of the financial action task force, the global body representing 34 national bodies and many bodies representing regional groupings. I drew attention to the minutes of the meeting of that task force in October and anticipated likely developments at its next meeting early next year. I pointed out that we felt that the change in the constitution and character of the group meant that, at times, we would not necessarily wish to await a decision by the FATF, but would want certain powers to move unilaterally.

We discussed at some length on Report why these amendments have been included in this Bill. It was an informed discussion. The Government listened carefully to the views of noble Lords and have reflected that in the amendments that we have tabled today.

I appreciate the points made by the noble Lord, Lord Marlesford, in relation to the amendments that he has tabled; let me attempt to respond to them. This provision has been included as it is necessary for a number of reasons. First, it is consistent with our attempt to replicate the compliance and enforcement procedures that currently exist in regard to our anti-money-laundering and counterterrorist financing regime. We have been eager to achieve as much consistency with this regime as possible, which would help firms and supervisors in management of compliance. Secondly—and importantly—the ability of enforcement officers to enter without a warrant could be useful in the successful investigation and enforcement of breaches of directions. We checked that supervisors wish to retain their existing range of enforcement powers for these new provisions, and have acted on this basis. It was considered necessary to have a full range of powers, given the risks involved in terrorist financing, money laundering and proliferation.

I have no desire to take unnecessary powers, but entry without a warrant may be necessary—for instance, in circumstances where giving notice might result in the destruction of relevant documents or important evidence. It is also worth highlighting that this enforcement power cannot be used as a supervisor sees fit, but is subject to the important safeguard that it may be employed only if the information sought is reasonably required in connection with the exercise by the enforcement authority of its functions. I believe that that should provide protection for the butchers of East Anglia.

In addition, I note that the power to enter premises without a warrant is not unusual in legislation, as the noble Lord, Lord Selsdon, advises us. Similar examples can be found, to list a few, in Section 162 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, Section 118C of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 and Section 14 of the Food Standards Act 1999.

Photo of Lord Thomas of Gresford Lord Thomas of Gresford Spokesperson in the Lords (Shadow Attorney General), Home Affairs

My Lords, who decides whether the entry is reasonably required without a warrant? Under paragraph 21, if it goes before a magistrate, the magistrate decides if it is reasonably required, but who decides under this paragraph?

Photo of Lord Myners Lord Myners Parliamentary Secretary, HM Treasury

My Lords, the decision on reasonableness would be made by the enforcement agency. There is provision to appeal against that if the individuals involved judge that it is unreasonable. For these reasons it is clear that Parliament has granted a number of rights to intervene without warrant.

Photo of Lord Swinfen Lord Swinfen Conservative

My Lords, the Minister said that one could appeal against the right of entry. If one can have entry without a warrant, where is the time to appeal?

Photo of Lord Myners Lord Myners Parliamentary Secretary, HM Treasury

My Lords, I believe the right of appeal would effectively freeze the outcome of the intervention. I would prefer to give noble Lords a complete explanation in writing.

The noble Lord, Lord Selsdon, gave us an historical perspective. He complimented my noble friend the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform with his former title of President of the Board of Trade. I note that he proposes legislation in that respect. I will leave it to my noble friend to comment in due course on whether he wishes to have either a new or an extra title. The more serious point about examining how the various rights should be reviewed and pulled together into a single document has merit and I will share that with my colleagues in government.

The noble Lord, Lord Thomas of Gresford, asked when a weights and measures inspector might need to use the powers. I anticipate that it will probably be in connection with the enforcement powers of the OFT but, if I am incorrect, I shall write to the noble Lord and to all those who have participated in this debate.

I now ask the noble Lord, Lord Marlesford, to withdraw his amendment.

Photo of Lord Lloyd of Berwick Lord Lloyd of Berwick Chair, Ecclesiastical Committee (Joint Committee), Chair, Ecclesiastical Committee (Joint Committee)

My Lords, I asked whether the Minister could give us one example of an occasion when the enforcement officer might need to use the powers under Clause 29. I think that the only one that he has so far given is if the person in question was on the point of destroying a document. Is that the only reason that the noble Lord has?

Photo of Lord Myners Lord Myners Parliamentary Secretary, HM Treasury

My Lords, I thank the noble and learned Lord for his question. I believe that that right would be necessary in many circumstances which it is difficult to be precise about. It is in the nature of acting in an enforcement relating to terrorism, proliferation or money-laundering that one may have to move very swiftly. As was explained on Report, that is why we propose the powers. We would not wish them to be used lightly, but there are circumstances where we feel that the threat is such that it is appropriate to have them.

Photo of Lord Swinfen Lord Swinfen Conservative

My Lords, the Minister told me that he would write to me with an answer. Unfortunately, this is Third Reading, so that would be absolutely useless. Perhaps he could tell the House how one can appeal against a right of entry when the entry is actually being effected, because that will often be the first time that the householder knows about it. There is no time for an appeal.

Photo of Lord Myners Lord Myners Parliamentary Secretary, HM Treasury

My Lords, I did not say that the right of appeal could frustrate the right of entry. The right of appeal would be after the right of entry had been exercised, to seek to challenge the grounds on which the entry was secured.

Photo of Lord Mayhew of Twysden Lord Mayhew of Twysden Conservative

My Lords, as someone who has become increasingly worried as this short but very welcome debate has continued, I ask how the powers could be needed in connection with the Office of Fair Trading. How could that furnish relevant documents or important information, to use the description that the noble Lord employed a few moments ago?

Photo of Lord Myners Lord Myners Parliamentary Secretary, HM Treasury

My Lords, the powers granted to the OFT to secure access to information and people are one of the conduits through which enforcement of the legislation is to be pursued.

Photo of Lord Selsdon Lord Selsdon Conservative

My Lords, with the leave of the House, I would like to ask the Minister a couple of questions. Has he by any chance read the Powers of Entry etc. Bill and the Schedule to it? Is he aware that I tabled the entire Bill as an amendment to the then regulatory reform Bill but agreed with the Government to withdraw it because they were treating the question of powers of entry very seriously? Therefore, I am at something of a loss to find that, without much knowledge, the Government are proposing a new power of entry that flies in the face of what we thought was a fair and just understanding of co-operation.

Photo of Lord Myners Lord Myners Parliamentary Secretary, HM Treasury

My Lords, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Selsdon, for his observation. I am not familiar with the actions that he has taken, but will certainly ensure that I become so.

I remind noble Lords that the powers we seek are to assist us in addressing very real and serious threats, such as making funds available to support terrorism or the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. That is the seriousness of the matter and why we are seeking these powers.

Photo of Lord Marlesford Lord Marlesford Conservative

My Lords, I am afraid that the Minister has had to bat on a pretty sticky wicket and that his explanation has not satisfied me in any instance. The 16 October minute, which I read and he has read, but most people will not have read, absolutely does not suggest that this legislation need be attached to this Bill. It could perfectly well have been attached to another Bill, which the business managers could have made as fast as they wished. It could then have been subject to proper scrutiny by Parliament. That is point 1.

Point 2—there is no way in which I am seeking to deny the Government powers of entry. They have got it all under paragraph 21 of the schedule. The Minister makes no sense at all saying that having powers of entry without a warrant would make it less likely that someone could destroy the evidence, unless you are suggesting that the magistrate tips off somebody, "I have just signed a warrant for someone to enter your premises", which would be absurd. The Government say that they already have all these powers in other legislation to do with money-laundering, but the whole point of the Bill of my noble friend Lord Selsdon was that there were far too many powers of entry without warrant. We understood that the Prime Minister himself had said that he wanted to reduce them. Here the Government slip in another one, in a shoddy manner, because it is cobbled together. There is no defence for the weights and measures chap. I wish the Minister would be honest about that—sorry, I did not mean to use that word. The Treasury Box obviously has been unable to produce any conceivable case where Mr Revett would be an appropriate target. I must test the opinion of the House.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 11) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 125; Not-Contents, 130.

Division number 1 Private Parking: Ports and Trading Estates — Counter-Terrorism Bill

Aye: 123 Members of the House of Lords

No: 128 Members of the House of Lords

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Tellers

Nos: A-Z by last name

Tellers

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

[Amendments Nos. 12 to 14 not moved.]

Photo of Lord West of Spithead Lord West of Spithead Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Security and Counter-terrorism), Home Office, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) (Security and Counter-terrorism) 4:04 pm, 17th November 2008

moved Amendments Nos. 15 to 19:

Schedule 7, page 101, leave out lines 27 and 28

Schedule 7, page 101, line 35, leave out from first "committed" to end of line 36 and insert "outside the United Kingdom—"

Schedule 7, page 101, line 41, leave out sub-paragraph (2)

Schedule 7, page 104, line 40, at end insert—

"Assistance in preparing guidance

The Treasury must provide such assistance as may reasonably be required by a supervisory authority or other body drawing up guidance that, when issued and published with the approval of the Treasury, would be relevant guidance for the purposes of paragraph 25(3) (civil penalties) and 30(3) (offences: failure to comply with requirement imposed by direction)."

Schedule 7, page 105, line 2, at end insert—

"( ) Any penalty under paragraph 25 (civil penalties) received by the FSA is to be applied towards expenses incurred by it in connection with its functions under this Schedule or for any incidental purpose."

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Photo of Lord West of Spithead Lord West of Spithead Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Security and Counter-terrorism), Home Office, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) (Security and Counter-terrorism)

My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill do now pass.

Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Bill passed, and returned to the Commons with amendments.