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Lord Filkin moved Amendment No. 66:


On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 48 [Transfer of EU etc. prisoner to assist UK investigation]:

[Amendment No. 67 not moved.]

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Clause 51 [General interpretation]:

Lord Filkin moved Amendment No. 68:


    Page 30, line 17, leave out from "article" to "applies" and insert "3(1) of the Mutual Legal Assistance Convention"

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns moved Amendment No. 69:


    Page 30, line 49, at end insert—


"(2A) Each order made under subsection (2)(b) may only designate one country."

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, the orders under this proposed new subsection will be made to add a new country or countries to the list of participating countries. We have had many debates on what comprises a participating country. In Committee, the Government tabled welcome amendments to ensure that the orders would be subject to the affirmative procedure. That was in response to the report of the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Select Committee and met the objective of amendments that I had tabled at that stage.

However, I had one remaining concern, which is the subject of the amendment, and that is that the Government may decide to list more than one country in each of the statutory instruments. If they did that, and noble Lords felt that it was objectionable that one or more of the countries on the list should be included, they would be in the invidious position of having to throw out the whole order as we cannot of course amend statutory instruments. We would have to throw out the baby with the bath water.

The question can justifiably be asked—would the Government do such a thing? Would they include something in an order which they knew would be objectionable alongside something that we would welcome? Their track record in these matters shows that they would. In Grand Committee I gave the example of changes to the TV licence fee, where an increase in the level of the licence fee above the usual rate was introduced at the same time and in the same order as the system whereby those over 75 were exempt from paying for the licence.

I know that that order was introduced by the DCMS, but is the Home Office any better? I am afraid it is not. The Terrorism Act 2000 allows for the same all-encompassing kind of order. Mr Jack Straw proscribed 15 or so terrorist organisations all at once back in 2001. As the Minister will recall, we on these Benches fully supported the Government on that then and we continue to support them. But Labour Back-Benchers, particularly in another place, were not so supportive of the Government at that stage. They disliked intensely the fact that the order was not amendable.

Given the extension of the proceedings in co-operation on international matters in the Bill, we shall need to scrutinise very carefully the list of participating countries. It is right that any statutory instrument should deal with only one country at a time.

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The Minister rather side-stepped this issue in the letter he sent to noble Lords on 6th February. He confirmed that the Government,


    "might wish indeed to designate different countries at different times in respect of different parts of the Bill, and the Bill would allow this".

That is exactly the point. I agree that the Bill allows that, and that is what I am worried about for the reasons that I have given. I beg to move.

Lord Goodhart: My Lords, I support the amendment. I remember in particular the orders under the Terrorism Act which contained a number of suspected terrorist organisations. Although we were on that occasion happy to agree that all of them should be included on the list, we were also concerned that there was a possibility that in other circumstances there might be names on such a list which we would not wish to see included. We believe that similar considerations apply to the designation of countries for the purposes set out in the Bill.

9.45 p.m.

Baroness Carnegy of Lour: My Lords, I support the amendment as well. The very nature of these orders means that the decision should be made clearly and should not be divisible into two or three parts on which the House might take different views. It is a misuse of our procedure to allow such a thing. The Government would be very wise to accept this amendment or one which has the same effect. It is really quite important.

Lord Bassam of Brighton: My Lords, the effect of the amendment would be that an order made to designate non-EU countries as participating countries in relation to any provision of this part could relate to only one country. This point was raised in Grand Committee when concern was expressed that an order might list a number of countries but one on the list might be objectionable to some members. The whole order might consequently be rejected, which would waste time and money. That being the case, I am still not convinced by the argument. We do not feel that we can accept the amendment.

Having to designate individual countries in separate orders subject to affirmative resolution would create vastly more work than the occasional rejection of one multiple order, which in any event I cannot imagine would happen in anything other than very exceptional circumstances.

Let us take just one clause as an example. We can designate countries as participating countries for the purpose of service of process under Clause 4. There is an article in the second additional protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on Mutual Assistance which provides for direct service in line with the MLAC provision. The Council of Europe has 44 member states and, even after enlargement, 19 will still be outside the European Union. So we could be faced with the prospect of designating 19 countries, each in individual orders, for the purpose of service of process, which is, after all, a very routine provision. Is this a sensible use of parliamentary time? I think that, on mature reflection,

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noble Lords will conclude that it is not. For that reason, we are satisfied that orders designating multiple countries are entirely appropriate.

I was intrigued by the parallels drawn with the terrorism legislation and the proscribed list of terrorist organisations. A rigorous appeals process was designed and allowed for in that provision. The fact that none of those organisations subsequently chose to exercise their right to go through that process is another matter. But there was full opportunity for debate on the nature of the order.

We do not think this is an efficient and effective way of proceeding or that it would be a sensible use of parliamentary time, and I think that I have provided your Lordships with a very good example of why that is so. I hope that, having heard that, the noble Baroness, Lady Anelay, will feel able to withdraw her amendment.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns: My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for his response and for going into the detailed consequences of what might happen if, in the context of these orders, there were one country per order. I promise him that between now and Third Reading I will reflect on his response. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns moved Amendment No. 70:


    Before Clause 52, insert the following new clause—


"INTERNATIONAL ANTI-TERRORISM CO-ORDINATOR
The Prime Minister shall appoint a Minister of the Crown to co-ordinate international co-operation between the United Kingdom and other countries in respect of investigations into, and the prevention of, terrorism."

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, the amendment would insert a new clause to require the designation of a single Minister to co-ordinate the United Kingdom's efforts in international co-operation against terrorism. Noble Lords will be aware that responsibility is currently divided between several Ministers. The Prime Minister is in overall charge of intelligence and security matters. The Home Secretary is responsible for the Security Service. The Foreign Secretary is responsible for the Secret Intelligence Service and for GCHQ and the Defence Secretary is responsible for the Defence Intelligence Service. In addition, there is a ministerial committee on the security services, chaired by the Prime Minister and including the Deputy Prime Minister, the Home Secretary, the Foreign Secretary, the Defence Secretary and the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign Office, Mr Mike O'Brien, is the junior Minister responsible for counter-terrorism issues at the Foreign Office, while the Home Secretary takes personal responsibility for terrorism policy at the Home Office. The Minister of State for the Armed Forces, Mr Adam Ingram, is responsible for intelligence and security matters at the Ministry of Defence. In addition, of course, Sir David Omand was last year appointed to the Civil Service post of security

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and intelligence co-ordinator in the Cabinet Office. That litany alone shows how divided the issue is and how difficulty it must be for those responsibilities to be implemented effectively.

There appears to be no senior Minister with a clear leadership role in the area. Of course I accept that the Prime Minister has overall responsibility for the work of the Government and no doubt takes a keen interest in matters related to terrorism, but it is unrealistic to expect him to supervise international co-operation in investigating and preventing terrorism on a day-to-day basis.

The Bill and the amendment are concerned with international co-operation in the fight against crime and terrorism. My concern goes much wider. My right honourable friend Mr Oliver Letwin has for some time been calling for the appointment of a single senior political figure to co-ordinate the United Kingdom's efforts in the fight against terrorism. At this time of night, it would weary the House for me to go into further detail. The House has already devoted much attention to some technical parts of the Bill. The amendment introduces a matter of principle that I hope will find favour with the Government. At this stage it is a probing amendment to elicit a response from the Government on their overall view on these matters. I beg to move.


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