Clause 193 - National security

Part of Extradition Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:45 am on 21st January 2003.

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Photo of Mr Nick Hawkins Mr Nick Hawkins Conservative, Surrey Heath 10:45 am, 21st January 2003

I am grateful for the way in which the Minister puts the matter. My hon. Friend the Member for Stratford-on-Avon and I made it clear that we did not want to open up another loophole for people like Ramda to slip through in future. We put the case in a certain way because we think that new clause 7 would provide protection if a Minister, senior official or military person in any Government faced extradition. We think that that is different to the bar on race or political opinions. We were trying to get something into the Bill that would specifically protect people on grounds of national interest.

With the helpful advice of the Clerk, we tried to mirror clause 193, and that may be why we were not able to narrow the matter down sufficiently. As the hon. Minister will understand, we have to be guided by what will make an amendment selectable by the Chairman. I would be quite happy if the Minister said that he would consider the matter and table a Government amendment later. I have said what we are trying to do under the new clause, and that vital protection is different to what is in the Bill.