Results 101–120 of 968 for speaker:Stephen McPartland

Public Bill Committee: National Security Bill: Clause 2 - Obtaining or disclosing trade secrets (12 Jul 2022)

Stephen McPartland: I will come back to the hon. Member on that point. The clause applies overseas where the conduct takes place outside the UK. That includes both a UK national overseas and a UK company based overseas, provided that it is incorporated or was formed, if unincorporated, under domestic law. The clause brings forward an important offence that will form part of a modernised toolkit for our...

Public Bill Committee: National Security Bill: Clause 2 - Obtaining or disclosing trade secrets (12 Jul 2022)

Stephen McPartland: Earlier, we talked about sentencing guidelines. My understanding is that we are not in a position to give more detail on that yet. That is something I have discussed with the Ministry of Justice, as we will come to later. With regard to the offence, one issue we have is the offence is designed to catch overseas activity with a strong link to the UK. It has been set at the threshold of a UK...

Public Bill Committee: National Security Bill: Clause 2 - Obtaining or disclosing trade secrets (12 Jul 2022)

Stephen McPartland: It applies in the sense that if that person were to commit murder, they would be prosecuted in this country under the laws applying to murder.

Public Bill Committee: National Security Bill: Clause 2 - Obtaining or disclosing trade secrets (12 Jul 2022)

Stephen McPartland: Effectively, it would apply in the same way. As I have said, with all these offences the Advocate General has to sign them off, and the Crown Prosecution Service as well.

Public Bill Committee: National Security Bill: Clause 2 - Obtaining or disclosing trade secrets (12 Jul 2022)

Stephen McPartland: I have nothing further to add.

Public Bill Committee: National Security Bill: Clause 1 - Obtaining or disclosing protected information (12 Jul 2022)

Stephen McPartland: It is a pleasure to follow the hon. Lady and I thank her for her kind words. She asked a number of questions, which I will do my utmost to answer. Protected information is information, documents or other articles to which, for the purpose of protecting UK safety or interests, access is restricted, or it is reasonable to expect that access would be restricted. The hon. Lady’s example of...

Public Bill Committee: National Security Bill: Clause 2 - Obtaining or disclosing trade secrets (12 Jul 2022)

Stephen McPartland: Clause 2 provides for an offence of obtaining or disclosing trade secrets. It will be an important tool for law enforcement and the intelligence agencies to detect, deter and protect modern espionage activity. It will introduce an offence to criminalise the illicit acquisition, retention or disclosure of sensitive information with a commercial, industrial or economic value linked to its...

Public Bill Committee: National Security Bill: Clause 2 - Obtaining or disclosing trade secrets (12 Jul 2022)

Stephen McPartland: The legislation takes civil offences and makes some of them criminal. That case would remain a civil offence. What we are doing is providing the intelligence services with the tools they need to prosecute people who hand over trade secrets in the criminal system. For example, MBDA in my constituency builds Brimstone missiles, which are currently being used in action. If some of those secrets...

Public Bill Committee: National Security Bill: Clause 2 - Obtaining or disclosing trade secrets (12 Jul 2022)

Stephen McPartland: My understanding is that the action would have to be done on behalf of or for the purposes of a foreign power. If it was done unknowingly, it would be for the lawyers and the Crown Prosecution Service to decide how to proceed.

Public Bill Committee: National Security Bill: Clause 2 - Obtaining or disclosing trade secrets (12 Jul 2022)

Stephen McPartland: I appreciate the question and understand the spirit in which it was asked. However, one thing that we must be careful of is laying out exactly what someone must do to fall foul of the legislation. If we did, in that example, the Chinese would create that structure and be in a position to use it ensure that anybody acting on their behalf would not fall under that power. We must provide the...

Public Bill Committee: National Security Bill: Clause 1 - Obtaining or disclosing protected information (12 Jul 2022)

Stephen McPartland: Current events demonstrate that we never protect the Government from embarrassment! Before I get into the detail of the offence itself, it is important to flag that, along with other offences in the Bill, it will apply only in circumstances where there is a clear link between the activity and a foreign power. That is provided for by the foreign power condition, which we will discuss in more...

Public Bill Committee: National Security Bill: Clause 1 - Obtaining or disclosing protected information (12 Jul 2022)

Stephen McPartland: I will come on to that in a bit. I will provide an example shortly.

Public Bill Committee: National Security Bill: Clause 1 - Obtaining or disclosing protected information (12 Jul 2022)

Stephen McPartland: You are very welcome. I would not want to get it wrong. Amendments 47 and 48 would introduce and define the term “critical interests”. In the amendments, “critical interests” is defined to include security, intelligence, defence, international relations and law and order. Although I recognise that the hon. Member for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East tabled the amendments to...

Public Bill Committee: National Security Bill: Clause 1 - Obtaining or disclosing protected information (12 Jul 2022)

Stephen McPartland: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Gray, and to be here in Committee. I will start with the clause and then deal with the amendments tabled by—let me see if I can get this right—the hon. Member for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East.

Public Bill Committee: National Security Bill: Clause 1 - Obtaining or disclosing protected information (12 Jul 2022)

Stephen McPartland: Thank you. I will quickly respond to some of the hon. Gentleman’s points. There are a variety of protections throughout the Bill. One is that someone has to be doing activity designed to benefit or help a foreign power in order to commit an offence. Secondly, most of the offences in part 1 of the Bill need sign-off from the Attorney General. Thirdly, the Crown Prosecution Service has to be...

Public Bill Committee: National Security Bill: Clause 1 - Obtaining or disclosing protected information (12 Jul 2022)

Stephen McPartland: As I said earlier, we have three huge protections. One is that activity must be for, or on behalf of, a foreign power. I understand the point the hon. Gentleman is making, but there are another two layers on top of that protection. The first is that the Attorney General’s consent must be obtained. Secondly, the Crown Prosecution Service must be satisfied that prosecution would be in the...

Public Bill Committee: National Security Bill: Clause 1 - Obtaining or disclosing protected information (12 Jul 2022)

Stephen McPartland: We are not talking about legislating in that way. If the hon. Lady will forgive me, we are saying that there are three layers of protection. The first layer is that people would be deemed to be obtaining or disclosing protected information for, or on behalf of, a foreign power. The next layers would involve the Attorney General and the Crown Prosecution Service. The hon. Lady, as a lawyer,...

Public Bill Committee: National Security Bill: Clause 1 - Obtaining or disclosing protected information (12 Jul 2022)

Stephen McPartland: My hon. Friend is correct. Three tests must be met for someone to be prosecuted: conducting harmful activity with regard to information that is protected effectively, knowingly prejudicing the safety or interests of the United Kingdom, and acting in a way that benefits a foreign power. Forgive me, but I do not believe that an NGO will accidentally fail all three of those tests.

Public Bill Committee: National Security Bill: Clause 1 - Obtaining or disclosing protected information (12 Jul 2022)

Stephen McPartland: That example demonstrates how important the Bill is, because it sets out that activities that are illegal will still be illegal if actors are acting in a particular manner. The Bill is trying to bring current provisions up to date to provide our intelligence services with the toolkits they need to keep our nation safe and secure. I believe that the three tests are strong enough to help...

Public Bill Committee: National Security Bill: Clause 1 - Obtaining or disclosing protected information (12 Jul 2022)

Stephen McPartland: I understand the right hon. Gentleman’s point, but I believe that we have three very strong tests that must be applied: the information must benefit a foreign power, the Attorney General must consider the case, and the CPS must decide that it is in the public interest to prosecute. Those three tests and protections run throughout the Bill.


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