Restriction on requesting assistance under mutual assistance agreements etc.

Investigatory Powers Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:30 am on 12 April 2016.

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

Photo of Keir Starmer Keir Starmer Shadow Minister (Home Office)

I rise to make essentially the same point as I made on the previous clause, albeit more briefly. This is a good and right in principle clause to ensure that there are restrictions on requesting assistance under mutual assistance agreements, but again the sanction for breach is not entirely clear. That may be something that, under the umbrella that the Minister for Security just indicated, could be taken away to see what the enforcement regime is for these important safeguarding provisions.

Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Solicitor-General

The hon. and learned Gentleman will know that this mutual legal assistance regime definitely benefits from statutory underpinning. It has become increasingly important. Sadly we have all learnt that relying just on good will or informal arrangements is no longer sufficient, which is why the international work that I know hon. Members are aware of, particularly negotiations with the United States, are so important in speeding up the process and making it ever more efficient, particularly in the light of all the political controversies we have been dealing with in recent days. I undertake to deal with the question that he raises, which I think we can deal with in an umbrella form as he suggests.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 8 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 9