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Clause 18

Part of Counter-Terrorism Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:30 pm on 29th April 2008.

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Photo of Dominic Grieve Dominic Grieve Shadow Attorney General 5:30 pm, 29th April 2008

The hon. Gentleman may well be right. When we come to clause 19, which I hope we will shortly, we will be able to tease that out. Clause 19 is in no way identical to clause 18, because the former is partly concerned with giving people necessary immunity to talk to the security services in  circumstances that might otherwise be in breach of current laws on data protection. There are many issues here, but we can consider them later.

The Minister has provided me with the reassurance that this provision is about the law enforcement agencies—I have got that—although, as I say, it is curious that there should be such a blanket right of disclosure in the interests of national security to any person anywhere in the world. However, that may be inevitable because any other attempt at definition would leave out of the loop people who have a legitimate right to receive such information. The Minister will understand why I sought to substitute the words “law enforcement agencies” for the current wording—perhaps one could even say “individuals involved in law enforcement”—because I assume that such people are being specifically aimed at. He may wish to reflect on that or may conclude that my anxieties, or the points that I have raised, are misplaced. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.