Clause 27 - Short title, commencement and extent

Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at on 5 July 2011.

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Amendment proposed (this day): 126, in clause 27, page 15, line 35, leave out from ‘Act’ to end of line and insert ‘will come into force the day after the Home Secretary reports to Parliament to confirm that paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) below have been complied with—

(a) no later than one month after the day on which this Act is passed, the Senior National Co-ordinator for Counter-terrorism will, in consultation with other relevant police organisations and the security services, produce a report to the Home Secretary detailing the additional required resources (“required resources”) that will be needed to manage the increased risks arising from the repeal of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 and the passing of this Act.

(b) no later than two months after the day on which this Act is passed the Home Secretary will agree with the Senior National Co-ordinator for Counter-terrorism the required resources under paragraph (a) and the timetable for such required resources becoming deployable for use in implementing and managing measures relating to TPIM notices.

(c) This Act cannot come into force until the required resources as agreed under paragraph (b) above are made available and ready for deployment.’.—(Shabana Mahmood.)

Question again proposed, That the amendment be made.

Photo of Martin Caton Martin Caton Labour, Gower

I remind the Committee that with this we are discussing amendment 141, in clause 27, page 15, line 35, at end insert—

‘(2A) Except in so far as otherwise provided under this clause, clause 2 and all other consequential clauses in this Act will expire at the end of the period of 12 months beginning with the day on which this Act comes into force.

(2B) The Secretary of State may by order made by statutory instrument—

(a) repeal clause 2; or

(b) provide that clause 2 will not expire at the time when it would otherwise expire under subsection (2A) of this clause but will continue in force after that time for a period not exceeding one year.

(2C) Before making an order under subsection (2B)(b) of this clause the Secretary of State must consult—

(a) the Independent Reviewer of Counter-Terrorism Legislation;

(b) the police; and

(c) the security services.

(2D) No order may be made by the Secretary of State under this clause unless a draft of it has been laid before Parliament and approved by a resolution of each House.

(2E) Subsection (2D) of this clause does not apply to an order that contains a declaration by the Secretary of State that the order needs, by reason of urgency, to be made without the approval required by subsection (2D).

(2F) An order under this clause that contains such a declaration—

(a) must be laid before Parliament after being made; and

(b) if not approved by a resolution of each House before the end of 40 days beginning with the day on which the order was made, ceases to have effect at the end of that period.

(2G) Where an order ceases to have effect in accordance with subsection (2F), that does not—

(a) affect anything previously done in reliance on the order; or

(b) prevent the making of a new order to the same or similar effect.’.

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

Good afternoon, Mr Caton, and good afternoon to the rest of the Committee. This is the final sitting of the Bill, and when we broke for lunch, it was timely in one sense, because I was just about to respond to an intervention from the right hon. Member for Wythenshawe and Sale East on resources, which is part and parcel of amendment 126. He was pressing me over the indications from the Metropolitan Police Service about resources and the approach that was being taken. If time had allowed me before the luncheon break intervened, I was going say that the Metropolitan Police Service and I are clear that, from the commencement of TPIMs, we will have in place appropriate and effective measures to manage the transition from control orders.

I fully appreciate—I feel it as much as anyone else—the duties and responsibilities that we hold and fulfil in moving from control orders to TPIMs, and we have considered the issue clearly and have been closely engaging with the security services and the police regarding the preparations and the work at hand. I do not accept that there will be gaps. I appreciate that there have been debates about schedule 1 and all its provisions, and I recognise the points that have been made consistently during the Committee, but I do not intend to go over old ground or to repeat myself. I recognise that there are differences, but we believe that it is possible to manage the arrangement appropriately and effectively, and we are confident that will be the case when we move from control orders to TPIMs.

We had a separate debate about duration, another issue that creates strong feelings, which were expressed on Second Reading, too. Let me set out the Government’s thinking on why we did not include some form of sunset clause or annual renewal clause—a point reflected in contributions this morning. The review of counter-terrorism and security powers concluded that, for the foreseeable future, there is likely to be a need for measures to protect the public from the risk posed by the small number of people who threaten our security, but who  cannot be prosecuted or, in the case of foreign nationals, deported. The package of measures we are putting in place is the result of a lengthy and considered review and is being subjected to full parliamentary scrutiny during the passage of the legislation. That is part and parcel of today’s Committee. We believe that it makes significant improvements to the control order system and that it is a good framework that ought to be able to operate on an ongoing, stable and enduring basis.

A key difference between this Bill and the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 is the parliamentary process involved. The 2005 Act was taken through under heavily accelerated procedures, making annual renewal an appropriate safeguard. That is the distinction between the gestation of the 2005 Act and where we are now, and that will not be the situation with this Bill. Moreover, my hon. and right hon. Friends have concluded that there is an ongoing need for powers to disrupt suspected terrorists who cannot be prosecuted or deported. Clearly, Opposition Members reached the same conclusion while in government and continue to hold that view, albeit they would rather keep a different system in place than move to the system we have outlined. Regardless of that difference between us, I think all three main parties are in agreement on the fundamental principle. In such circumstances, the Government believe that Parliament should legislate permanently.

I heard some of the debate about timing issues, and the points made by my hon. Friend the Member for Cambridge and by Opposition Members on that balance. The right hon. Member for Wythenshawe and Sale East recognised that need for balance, and the question of whether a continual, year-on-year re-examination of the facts and circumstances was appropriate. It is interesting to note the comments of Lord Carlile:

“I would not retain annual renewal. The reality is that it has been renewed from year to year, and annual renewal has been a bit of fiction, to be frank. I think that Parliament should have the courage of its convictions and decide whether it wants a regime like this or not. It can always be repealed.”––[Official Report, Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Public Bill Committee, 21 June 2011; c. 23-24, Q70.]

I recognise that there are strong feelings on this issue. What I have said will not necessarily find favour with all parts of the Committee. We have heard the strength of feeling on all sides. We acknowledge and accept that the TPIM regime, as we would wish to put it in place, is perhaps regarded as exceptional. It is regarded as something that none of us would wish to have, if I can put it that way. We wish to bring people to justice. The mechanisms, whether control orders or the proposed TPIM regime, are not what would be considered the optimal solution. We want to bring people to justice using the criminal justice system and we want to see people prosecuted, but we recognise that there is an enduring risk. There is a necessity for those we are unable to deport and for those we are unable to prosecute in that way.

In light of the recognition of the nature of the measures, I will take away all the views that have been expressed by the Committee. I undertake to look at the issue of longevity and whether there is a need to examine the issue further. I will certainly return, having reflected on and considered that point in due course.

Photo of Tobias Ellwood Tobias Ellwood Conservative, Bournemouth East

I am pleased that my hon. Friend is providing that clarification. We have all talked about trying to push that very small  group of people, and seeking some form of evidence so that we can then convict them. May I invite him—not now, but perhaps on Third Reading or Report—to say what is being done to invite them to go the other way and become law-abiding citizens in Britain?

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

I have not checked the nature of the business tomorrow, but I know that when I last looked we were due to have a debate on part of the Prevent strategy. That is an important part of the debate, and the strands are contained within the Contest strategy to prevent people becoming involved in terrorism in the first place. I am sure that there will be wider debate. That work engages with other issues that we have spoken to in this Committee before, such as intercept as evidence and examining how we are best able to bring those who commit crimes to justice. I hope that, in the light of my comments, the hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood will withdraw the amendment.

Photo of Shabana Mahmood Shabana Mahmood Shadow Minister (Home Affairs)

I will start with amendment 141. I am grateful to the Minister for saying that he will take away some of the points that were made earlier. I hope the Government will table an amendment on Report on which we can proceed with a consensus-based approach. If that does not happen, the issue will still be of great concern to us. We shall certainly seek to continue on Report the debate on the annual renewal, or sunset clause, envisaged in amendment 141.

Similarly, we have had a good debate on amendment 126 and have discussed the transitional arrangements in relation to resources. I still have concerns about when those resources will be deployable and ready to go on line when the Bill is enacted. Some of those issues have not been sufficiently canvassed, and unless there is further movement from the Government we will return to them on Report. That said, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

I beg to move amendment 133, in clause 27, page 15, line 36, leave out ‘(subject to subsection (4))’.

Photo of Martin Caton Martin Caton Labour, Gower

With this it will be convenient to discuss Government amendments 134 and 135.

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

Amendments 133 and 134 relate to Scotland, and amendment 135 to the Channel Islands. The Committee will be aware that the Bill extends to Scotland because, primarily, it deals with the reserved matter of national security. However, powers of entry, search, seizure and retention in schedule 5, and fingerprints and samples in schedule 6, impinge on devolved matters. For example, biometric material taken under provisions in schedule 6 can be used for devolved purposes such as the prevention and detection of any crime, as well as national security or terrorist investigations. When the Bill was introduced, the Scottish Government had not had an opportunity to decide whether the relevant provisions should extend to Scotland. They have since agreed that they should, and a legislative consent motion will therefore be tabled. The amendments reflect that agreement.

Amendment 134 deletes subsection (4), which outlines the provisions in schedules 5 and 6 that did not extend to Scotland. Amendment 133 is a consequential amendment that deletes a reference to subsection (4) from subsection (3). As a result of the amendments, all provisions in the Bill will extend to Scotland as they do to the rest of the United Kingdom.

Amendment 135 removes a reference to the Channel Islands in subsection (5). As introduced, the clause would allow the Act to be extended, with appropriate modifications, to any of the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man by Order in Council. Under the amendment, such an order cannot be made in relation to the Channel Islands. The amendment is required because the Channel Islands have indicated that they would want to produce any required legislation themselves.

Amendment 133 agreed to.

Amendments made: 134, in clause 27, page 15, line 38, leave out subsection (4).

Amendment 135, in clause 27, page 15, line 42, leave out

‘any of the Channel Islands or’.—(James Brokenshire.)

Clause 27, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.