My Lords, I would like to congratulate the Government—my right honourable friends in the Home Office and Foreign Office, my noble friend the Minister and her department—for this decision and for bringing forward this legislation. I am delighted that the Opposition is not opposing it, but I must express disappointment that it is not actually in support.
Hezbollah is a radical Shia Islamist terror group backed by Iran, which seeks to impose its totalitarian ideology, with violence, on other Muslims. It wants to drive out western influences from the Muslim world. The organisation itself says, as we have heard from many noble Lords in this debate, that there is no distinction between its military and its political wings. It poses a threat not only to Israel and Jews—and I declare an interest—but to other citizens in the Middle East, of all religions, as well as here in Europe and elsewhere in the West. It has also been established, as my noble friend Lord Pickles rightly said, that Hezbollah is involved in drug trafficking and money laundering, and trafficks large amounts of cocaine through Europe and the US, as was uncovered in 2016 by the US Drug Enforcement Administration, Europol and Eurojust.
So I hope the Minister will agree that proscription will help to restrict Hezbollah’s ability to undertake such criminal activities in our own country, which pose huge threats to British citizens, and that banning the entirety of Hezbollah, as well as Ansaroul Islam and JNIM in the Sahel region of Africa, further demonstrates this Government’s determination to stand up against terrorism and groups dedicated to opposing our western civilisation, values and way of life.