Clause 11

Terrorist Asset-Freezing Etc. Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:45 am on 23 November 2010.

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Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Mike Gapes Mike Gapes Labour, Ilford South

I seek your advice, Mr Gale, because the issue I want to raise relates to several clauses, including, potentially, clause 42, and I wonder whether it is appropriate to raise it under clause 42, or earlier? My question concerns the basis for the definition of the anti-terrorist proposals, in terms of their scope. We have a very helpful paper from the Library that deals with all the relevant United Nations resolutions, and as I understand it, the original basis for those resolutions—I refer to the 1267 committee at the UN—is specific to Osama bin Laden, his al-Qaeda organisation and its associates. However, we have legislation in this country that designates as terrorist organisations certain bodies, including dissident republicans in Northern Ireland, people from Sri Lanka—the Tamil Tigers—and various other organisations. I therefore seek clarification from the Minister, or from you. With regard to persons who assist individuals with the financial aspects of an asset freeze on terrorists, what is the scope of the Bill in such matters? Are we dealing simply with the 1267 committee, resolution 1303 and other UN resolutions? Or are we dealing with the wider question of those who assist terrorists from different organisations, and not simply those resolutions that are spelled out in the schedule that is, I think, referred to in clause 42?

Photo of Roger Gale Roger Gale Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (Substitute Member)

I will take that as a comment on clause 11, rather than as a point of order, and I invite the Minster to respond, on the understanding that if he does, and the hon. Gentleman is satisfied, we shall not come back to the matter on clause 42. If the Minister indicates now that he would prefer to come to the matter on clause 42, we will not discuss it now.

Photo of Mark Hoban Mark Hoban The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

The hon. Member for Ilford South makes an important point, because there are a range of asset-freezing measures. However, the Bill relates purely to UN resolution 1373 and the regime that was struck down by the Supreme Court. That is what we are trying to remedy through the Bill. Other asset-freezing regimes are related to other Acts of Parliament and other orders.

Photo of Mike Gapes Mike Gapes Labour, Ilford South

I am grateful for that explanation. So the fact that the Tamil Tigers or Irish republican dissidents, for example, are not mentioned does not in any way mean that by adopting the Bill today we are saying that we are narrowing the focus of the asset-freeze regime?

Photo of Roger Gale Roger Gale Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (Substitute Member)

I take it that we have put that issue to bed. We will not come back to it again.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 11 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 12 ordered to stand part of the Bill.