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Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 11th June 2014.

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Photo of Tom Watson Tom Watson Labour, West Bromwich East

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

(1) with reference to the advice provided by Jemima Stratford QC to the all-party parliamentary group on drones, if he will agree a new memorandum of understanding or other bilateral agreement with the US on data transfer and use; [R]

(2) with reference to the advice provided by Jemima Stratford QC to the all-party parliamentary group on drones, if his Department will take steps to prevent any unlawful practice by GCHQ; [R]

(3) whether his Department has made an assessment of the advice of Jemima Stratford QC to the all party parliamentary group on drones; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Hugh Robertson Hugh Robertson Minister of State

The UK intelligence agencies work in accordance with UK law, as described by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), in his statement to the House on 10 June 2013, Official Report, column 31. In addition, section 6 of the recently published annual report for 2013 by the Interception of Communications Commissioner, Sir Anthony May, addresses the legal basis for intelligence sharing between the UK and its partners.

The UK intelligence agencies adhere to the law at all times. We have one of the world's strongest legal and regulatory frameworks governing the use of secret intelligence. All GCHQ's activities are legal, necessary and proportionate. GCHQ does not disclose or share information other than is appropriate under the Intelligence Services Act 1994 and Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

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