Clause 79

Part of Counter-Terrorism Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 1:00 pm on 15 May 2008.

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Photo of Tony McNulty Tony McNulty Minister of State (Security, Counter-terrorism, Crime and Policing), Home Office 1:00, 15 May 2008

It is an interesting debate, and one for which I have some degree of sympathy. Any number of times on Committee I have flipped from the negative to the affirmative in the interests of scrutiny, but I am not going to do so on this one. The matters concerned are of such importance that the sooner, for example, the police are deployed to a particular location, the better. The negative procedure approval mechanism is appropriate in this case. However, I do have a lot of sympathy for what has been said.

I never had the dubious pleasure of being on the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments, but I am sure that it is very interesting. We have had some fun quite recently with a statutory instrument that it sent back about 10 times as deficient, and we did not lay it until we got it in order for the JCSI—that is the Home Office being cutting-edge as usual in terms of the primacy of parliamentary scrutiny.

On the substance of the amendment, notwithstanding the importance of the potential impact on a designated individual, the negative procedure is appropriate. While the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, my hon. Friend the Member for Gedling and I have anything to do with it, we will deal with the matter when and if such an order is prayed against. For all the reasons outlined, I would rather resist the amendment and stick with the negative procedure in this case, although I have some sympathy with the broader ideals.