Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill - Committee (1st Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:30 pm on 29th October 2018.

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Photo of Baroness Hamwee Baroness Hamwee Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Immigration) 5:30 pm, 29th October 2018

My Lords, I thank the Minister for her response. This is not intended as a criticism, but in introducing her response the numbering of the amendments went a little awry. I suspect that her briefing was written before the Marshalled List was put together. I say that only for people who may be reading Hansard after today.

The noble Lord, Lord Carlile, made the point about consultation that I made in rather a broader way at the beginning of this afternoon’s proceedings: people who have knowledge of particular circumstances have things to contribute to the legislation that we end up with. I agree with his point about consultation. The Minister says she will deal with Northern Ireland under the next grouping. I hope that consultation, as it is considered under the grouping, can go wider than the PSNI and the prosecution service, which were specifically mentioned, because more people will have things to contribute than just those two organisations. The noble Lord makes an important point.

He used the example of scenes of execution. That is not what the amendments here are aimed at but it makes me wonder whether there is something about intention in all this that we might explore afterwards. A scene of execution is a very extreme example—much more so, I think, than a freedom fighter flag.

The Minister used the term “updating”. I wonder whether what we are talking about here is more about prompting an investigation than creating an offence in itself. I can see that one might want to pursue the sort of situations that she has referred to but, like my noble friend Lord Paddick, I think the words “in such a way” and “circumstances” are very wide.

Pretty much the Minister’s final point was that it would be for the police and the CPS to determine. When I moved my amendment, I said that I really do not want to find us continually relying on the public interest test; we ought to be able to do better than that. My noble friend Lord Campbell, who came into this debate and heard the Minister’s comment, did not hear my introduction but I absolutely agree with him that it is for the courts to determine. One should not be looking at the public interest test as a way of getting out of a difficult situation.

Of course, at this point I shall withdraw the amendment, but I am sure we will look again at the detail of this situation. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment 7 withdrawn.

Amendments 8 and 9 not moved.