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Clause 1

Part of Counter-Terrorism Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:00 am on 29th April 2008.

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Photo of Dominic Grieve Dominic Grieve Shadow Attorney General 11:00 am, 29th April 2008

First, I must apologise to the Minister, who is absolutely right. If he looks at amendment No. 58, which I tabled when looking at the Bill in detail last week, he will see that it deals with the length of time set out in the clause, so my apology to him is fulsome—I was in Ireland until rather late yesterday evening, so my memory of all the five clauses in my drafting last week is not as good as it should be.

The Minister makes a persuasive case on that point, and we will come back to it when we get to the relevant subsection. On the general point about reasonableness, he has provided me with considerable reassurance, and the fact that it operated in that fashion in Northern Ireland also indicates that it will not be misused. I want to reflect on this matter in view of the Minister’s comments. I can see that there remains an argument for putting reasonableness in, and I am not sure that it would have all of the downsides that the Minister is anxious about. On the other hand, I am also pretty well satisfied that what he is putting forward in this context will not do much mischief, so I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.