New Clause 4 - Proceedings relating to safety or interests of the United Kingdom

Part of National Security Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:45 pm on 18 October 2022.

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Photo of Stuart McDonald Stuart McDonald Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Home Affairs) 3:45, 18 October 2022

I support the objective of the new clause. When we were debating some of the offences in part 1, the SNP tabled various amendments to try to make it clear that the national interest and the interests of the Government are not necessarily the same thing—often, they are not the same thing at all. It appears that judicial authority says that, in essence, it is for the Government to decide what the national interest is; that does not really assist the position. Whether or not this new clause is the answer is something we will have to revisit again, but I express sympathy with the intention behind it.