5.5 In his letter, the Minister addresses our points. We asked him to confirm that the Network would have no power to initiate legislation. He gives that confirmation, adding:
"Any proposals arising from the Network's business would have to be agreed at Council of Ministers' level, before being implemented. We do not envisage that any amendments to existing legislation will be necessary as a result of the Network."
5.6 We also asked him to confirm that there was no question of a change to our domestic legislation in respect of armed officials. Again, the Minister provides this confirmation. He continues:
"It has been and will continue to be the Government's position that it is for the host country to have responsibility for the protection of public figures, including the provision of armed officials for personal protection."
He tells us that further changes have been made to the text which now reflects the Government's position, as stated above. In addition, the definition of "public figure" is now such that members of a Royal Family are included another point on which the Government was seeking amendment.
5.7 The Minister reports that there now appears to be a broader definition of the types of information to be exchanged within the Network than in the documents we have scrutinised. He says:
"Discussions will continue on this point to clarify the issues relating to information sharing, with specific reference to ensuring that national security and the safety of public figures will not be compromised in this area. Should any further, significant alterations arise in future Council documents, we will deposit these for the Committee to scrutinise."