The Minister is well aware that no Government can bind their successors. I have no doubt that he is entirely genuine in expressing his personal views about what the legislation means and how he hopes that it will be exercised. Unfortunately for him, the Crime (International Co-operation) Bill is currently being debated in the other place. The
Minister may have noticed that we have tabled new clause 4 on the compatibility or, as we would say, the mismatch between that Bill and this one. Although it is starred, we hope that we will have the chance to debate it later. My noble Friend, the Baroness Aneley of St. Johns, is the Opposition spokesman on the Bill in the other place, and has pointed out that, contrary to what the Minister said, the Government are proposing in that Bill to give foreign police officers the power of hot pursuit into this country.
I am sure that the Minister is honest in his comments on this Bill, but we see the floodgates opening and a general trend emerging towards overseas officers coming into the country. A future Government might say that, as the Crime (International Co-operation) Act already contains a provision that allows hot pursuit for a few hours, perhaps they will designate these people as appropriate persons. We are concerned that the two Bills run contrary to each other.