Investigatory Powers Bill - Commons Reasons

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:00 pm on 2nd November 2016.

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Photo of Lord West of Spithead Lord West of Spithead Labour 4:00 pm, 2nd November 2016

My Lords, all my experience from three years as Chief of Defence Intelligence and three years as the Minister for Security and Counterterrorism makes me realise how crucial the Bill is for the security of our nation. The Bill has been worked through now over a long period. It has had amazing input, it has amazing cross-party consensus and it is really very important. We have just had 37 minutes of emotive discussion, most of which has nothing to do with the security of our nation. I am very concerned that this amendment might well have an impact against the Bill that none of us intends. I have heard people saying, “There won’t be any difficulty”, but I am worried. If it does, that will be a problem for us. The Bill is too important for it to be delayed to a state where it is not implemented in time. I hear people saying, “That’s not a problem”, but all my experience of government and of life is that things suddenly crop up. I will be much happier knowing that the Bill has been put to bed, because our nation will then be much safer.