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Ms Blears: With the leave of the House, Mr. Deputy Speaker, I shall reply to the debate.

I shall try to address as many of the issues raised by hon. Members as possible. The debate has ranged across a number of important, complex matters that go to the heart of our legal and constitutional framework. I am not sure that I can do all those issues justice in the 10 minutes allowed to me, but I shall do my very best.

This afternoon's excellent debate has been filled with considered views, and some challenging issues that go to the heart of how we organise ourselves in this country have been raised. We have had the benefit of the expertise of hon. Members whose knowledge is more extensive than mine. In particular, the right hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed (Mr. Beith) is a member of the Newton committee and the debate benefited enormously from his contribution.

A number of my hon. Friends have made useful contributions. Given his robust approach, I am pleased that my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Cathcart (Mr. Harris) sits on the Government Benches. I have no doubt that I shall call on him to be my champion when I face a formidable array of Opposition Members. I am delighted that he felt able to make such a robust contribution.

Several hon. Members, including the hon. Member for Winchester (Mr. Oaten), raised our move to obtain, where appropriate, memorandums of understanding with third countries on the deportation of some foreign nationals. We have made contact with several Governments and are now actively engaged in discussions. I am pleased to say that those discussions are going well, but more remains to be done. We want to secure an overarching memorandum of understanding with each country to allow us to make tailored agreements for individuals. Such agreements will not be legally binding, but those countries will enter into them. We cannot pre-test those agreements—I do not know how we could do so—but if we were about to deport somebody, they would have a right of appeal and the decision to deport under the memorandums of understanding would be subject to intense judicial scrutiny at that point.

Jeremy Corbyn: Will the Minister confirm that any agreement reached in those discussions with other countries will be compatible with the European convention on human rights, particularly in respect of the death penalty and the use of torture against detainees?

Ms Blears: Yes. That is exactly the kind of territory in which we are seeking proper assurances. The Government want to abide by our international obligations and we want reassurances on those points, which is why the discussions are so active.

My hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Cathcart made some useful points about the different threat posed by international terrorism as compared with domestic terrorism, which we have faced in the past. He made three points. First, it is difficult to conduct political negotiations with people who want to destroy our way of life and values. Secondly, the terrorists whom we face are committed to mass civilian murders rather
8 Feb 2005 : Column 1457
than small, targeted terrorist events. Thirdly, those terrorists are not averse to using suicide bombers. In the past, terrorists tried to maximise their chances of survival, but we now face mass civilian casualties and suicide bombing. The nature of the threat is significantly different from that which we have faced in the past.

My hon. Friend asked whether the travel restrictions would apply to British citizens and foreign nationals. In respect of control orders, we will consider the appropriate conditions to meet the threat that faces us. Travel restrictions on foreign nationals and British citizens would be part of that consideration, because we do not want to discriminate against people inappropriately. We would consider whether the conditions were targeted at the threat that we face from those individuals.

The right hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed rightly said that the threat will go on for a long time. That is why we need sustainable legislation in this field, rather than simply responding and reacting to every event as it occurs. Through the legislation that we are formulating, we are trying to come up with a framework that can be adapted to events. That is why we are saying that it should apply to all forms of terrorism that face us—not only international terrorism, but domestic terrorism—and to British citizens as well as foreign nationals. In that way, we can tailor the control orders that we make in accordance with the threat.

I am pleased that the right hon. Gentleman acknowledged that intercept is not the solution in every case. He was careful to try to confine it, and I am glad that he said that it is limited in its use. The costs and benefits of using intercept are a matter of judgment. We have taken our decision, but we will keep the matter under close review. I was pleased that the Newton report made a number of recommendations, which the Government looked at carefully in formulating current policy, and that it said that steps short of detention, such as tagging, curfews and restrictions on movement, could well be appropriate. I understand the right hon. Gentleman's party's difference with us on who should make the initial decision and I am sure that that will continue to be a matter of debate. Clearly, as he suggested, judges will have a view on whether they welcome taking on the decision making or whether that might be appropriate for the Executive.

On intercept, it may be useful for the House if I say that America does not have the same co-operation between intelligence and law enforcement agencies as there is in the UK. In fact, in some cases the intelligence services in America are prohibited by statute from passing intelligence on to law enforcement. The unique, close relationship between the police and intelligence agencies in this country is not mirrored in America, and there is no evidence that America or other European countries can use intercept and get more convictions against terrorists than we can. The review considered that.

My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Dudley, North (Ross Cranston), in an excellent and thoughtful contribution, showed us not only his knowledge but his insight into and understanding of the issues. His analysis
8 Feb 2005 : Column 1458
of the justification for action, our shared humanity and the need for balance and proportionality was excellent, and I am grateful for his measured and sincere support.

The hon. Member for Daventry (Mr. Boswell) made a typically thoughtful contribution. He said that he would trust Ministers, but not offer us a blank cheque. I entirely understand that he will want to scrutinise exactly what goes on. He raised the important issue of whether the control orders risk stimulating terrorism and further radicalisation. I am acutely conscious of that issue and one strand of our counter-terrorism strategy deals with prevention. That is not just about the harder measures, but working with the Muslim community in particular, and with young people, on solving some of the international issues that lead to radicalisation. It is important that we do that in conjunction with a range of other measures.

My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Redcar (Vera Baird) again rightly emphasised that prosecutions are our preferred route. She said that the Conservative Opposition would need a fall-back position. We have all been worried by the polarisation of the Conservatives, who said simply that we should either proceed through trial and prosecution or release with no controls. That is not a tenable position.

We propose a spectrum of measures through the control orders to allow us to tailor the measures so that they are proportionate to the threat, thus meeting the concerns of the House of Lords about disproportionality. Simply having a system whereby we either lock people up through a conventional judicial trial or allow them to go completely free with no controls will not meet the threat, in the view of the people of this country. I am worried about that.

My hon. and learned Friend gave an excellent explanation of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission. We conduct investigations and we will refer matters to the Crown Prosecution Service, if that is the right thing to do.

We have had an excellent debate. It is always our approach to prosecute when we can. We believe that the control orders are a proper response to the House of Lords. They are proportionate and not discriminatory.

Question put, That the original words stand part of the Question:—

The House divided: Ayes 172, Noes 285.

Division No. 76
[6.59 pm


Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)
Allan, Richard
Amess, David
Arbuthnot, rh James
Bacon, Richard
Baker, Norman
Baron, John (Billericay)
Barrett, John
Beggs, Roy (E Antrim)
Beith, rh A. J.
Bellingham, Henry
Beresford, Sir Paul
Boswell, Tim
Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W)
Bottomley, rh Virginia (SW Surrey)
Brady, Graham
Brake, Tom (Carshalton)
Brazier, Julian
Breed, Colin
Brooke, Mrs Annette L.
Browning, Mrs Angela
Bruce, Malcolm
Burns, Simon
Burnside, David
Burstow, Paul
Burt, Alistair
Butterfill, Sir John
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Cameron, David
Campbell, rh Sir Menzies (NE Fife)
Cash, William
Chapman, Sir Sydney (Chipping Barnet)
Chope, Christopher
Clappison, James
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Collins, Tim
Conway, Derek
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cotter, Brian
Curry, rh David
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Davis, rh David (Haltemprice & Howden)
Dorrell, rh Stephen
Doughty, Sue
Duncan, Alan (Rutland)
Duncan, Peter (Galloway)
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Michael
Field, Mark (Cities of London & Westminster)
Flight, Howard
Flook, Adrian
Foster, Don (Bath)
Gale, Roger (N Thanet)
Gibb, Nick (Bognor Regis)
Gidley, Sandra
Gill, Parmjit Singh
Goodman, Paul
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian (Ashford)
Green, Matthew (Ludlow)
Greenway, John
Hague, rh William
Hammond, Philip
Hancock, Mike
Harris, Dr. Evan (Oxford W & Abingdon)
Harvey, Nick
Hawkins, Nick
Hayes, John (S Holland)
Heald, Oliver
Heath, David
Heathcoat-Amory, rh David
Hendry, Charles
Hoban, Mark (Fareham)
Hogg, rh Douglas
Holmes, Paul
Hopkins, Kelvin
Horam, John (Orpington)
Howard, rh Michael
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Jack, rh Michael
Jenkin, Bernard
Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)
Keetch, Paul
Kennedy, rh Charles (Ross Skye & Inverness)
Key, Robert (Salisbury)
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Kirkwood, Sir Archy
Knight, rh Greg (E Yorkshire)
Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Lansley, Andrew
Laws, David (Yeovil)
Letwin, rh Oliver
Liddell-Grainger, Ian
Lidington, David
Lilley, rh Peter
Llwyd, Elfyn
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter (M-Worcs)
McDonnell, John
McIntosh, Miss Anne
Maclean, rh David
McLoughlin, Patrick
Malins, Humfrey
Maude, rh Francis
May, rh Mrs Theresa
Mercer, Patrick
Mitchell, Andrew (Sutton Coldfield)
Moore, Michael
Moss, Malcolm
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
Oaten, Mark (Winchester)
Öpik, Lembit
Osborne, George (Tatton)
Ottaway, Richard
Page, Richard
Paice, James
Paterson, Owen
Pickles, Eric
Price, Adam (E Carmarthen & Dinefwr)
Prisk, Mark (Hertford)
Pugh, Dr. John
Rendel, David
Robathan, Andrew
Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)
Roe, Dame Marion
Ruffley, David
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Salmond, Alex
Sanders, Adrian
Sayeed, Jonathan
Selous, Andrew
Shepherd, Richard
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, Keith (M-Norfolk)
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns & Kincardine)
Smyth, Rev. Martin (Belfast S)
Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spink, Bob (Castle Point)
Spring, Richard
Steen, Anthony
Stunell, Andrew
Swayne, Desmond
Swire, Hugo (E Devon)
Syms, Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, John (Solihull)
Taylor, Sir Teddy
Teather, Sarah
Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Trimble, rh David
Turner, Andrew (Isle of Wight)
Tyler, Paul (N Cornwall)
Tyrie, Andrew
Viggers, Peter
Walter, Robert
Waterson, Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Webb, Steve (Northavon)
Whittingdale, John
Widdecombe, rh Miss Ann
Wiggin, Bill
Willetts, David
Williams, Hywel (Caernarfon)
Willis, Phil
Wilshire, David
Winterton, Ann (Congleton)
Winterton, Sir Nicholas (Macclesfield)
Young, rh Sir George
Younger-Ross, Richard

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Roger Williams and
Mr. Alan Reid


Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Alexander, Douglas
Allen, Graham
Armstrong, rh Ms Hilary
Atkins, Charlotte
Bailey, Adrian
Baird, Vera
Banks, Tony
Barnes, Harry
Barron, rh Kevin
Battle, rh John
Bayley, Hugh
Beard, Nigel
Begg, Miss Anne
Bennett, Andrew
Benton, Joe (Bootle)
Berry, Roger
Best, Harold
Betts, Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blears, Ms Hazel
Bradley, rh Keith (Withington)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Bradshaw, Ben
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, rh Nicholas (Newcastle E Wallsend)
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Browne, Desmond
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, Andy
Byrne, Liam (B'ham Hodge H)
Cairns, David
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Casale, Roger
Caton, Martin
Cawsey, Ian (Brigg)
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chaytor, David
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clarke, rh Charles (Norwich S)
Clarke, rh Tom (Coatbridge & Chryston)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clelland, David
Clwyd, Ann (Cynon V)
Coffey, Ms Ann
Cohen, Harry
Colman, Tony
Connarty, Michael
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Cousins, Jim
Cranston, Ross
Crausby, David
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, Ann (Keighley)
Cummings, John
Cunningham, rh Dr. Jack (Copeland)
Cunningham, Jim (Coventry S)
Cunningham, Tony (Workington)
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs Claire
Dalyell, Tam
Darling, rh Alistair
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
David, Wayne
Davidson, Ian
Davies, rh Denzil (Llanelli)
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Dean, Mrs Janet
Denham, rh John
Dhanda, Parmjit
Dismore, Andrew
Dobbin, Jim (Heywood)
Dobson, rh Frank
Dodds, Nigel
Donaldson, Jeffrey M.
Donohoe, Brian H.
Doran, Frank
Dowd, Jim (Lewisham W)
Drew, David (Stroud)
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Edwards, Huw
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Ennis, Jeff (Barnsley E)
Farrelly, Paul
Field, rh Frank (Birkenhead)
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Fitzsimons, Mrs Lorna
Flint, Caroline
Flynn, Paul (Newport W)
Foster, rh Derek
Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings & Rye)
Foulkes, rh George
Francis, Dr. Hywel
George, rh Bruce (Walsall S)
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Godsiff, Roger
Goggins, Paul
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Hain, rh Peter
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hanson, David
Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)
Havard, Dai (MerthyrTydfil & Rhymney)
Healey, John
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Hesford, Stephen
Hewitt, rh Ms Patricia
Heyes, David
Hinchliffe, David
Hoon, rh Geoffrey
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, rh Alan (Newport E)
Howarth, George (Knowsley N & Sefton E)
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hughes, rh Beverley (Stretford & Urmston)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Ingram, rh Adam
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jackson, Glenda (Hampstead & Highgate)
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, rh Alan (Hull W)
Johnson, Miss Melanie (Welwyn Hatfield)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Jones, Lynne (Selly Oak)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Jowell, rh Tessa
Joyce, Eric (Falkirk W)
Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Alan (Feltham)
Kemp, Fraser
Kennedy, rh Jane (Wavertree)
Khabra, Piara S.
Kidney, David
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Andy (Rugby)
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Lammy, David
Lawrence, Mrs Jackie
Laxton, Bob (Derby N)
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Leslie, Christopher
Levitt, Tom (High Peak)
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Liddell, rh Mrs Helen
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony (Manchester C)
Lucas, Ian (Wrexham)
Luke, Iain (Dundee E)
McAvoy, rh Thomas
McCabe, Stephen
McCafferty, Chris
McCartney, rh Ian
McDonagh, Siobhain
MacDonald, Calum
MacDougall, John
McFall, rh John
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKenna, Rosemary
McNulty, Tony
MacShane, Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
McWilliam, John
Mahmood, Khalid
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Mann, John (Bassetlaw)
Marris, Rob (Wolverh'ton SW)
Marshall, David (Glasgow Shettleston)
Martlew, Eric
Meacher, rh Michael
Merron, Gillian
Milburn, rh Alan
Miliband, David
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby)
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moonie, Dr. Lewis
Moran, Margaret
Morgan, Julie
Morley, Elliot
Mudie, George
Mullin, Chris
Munn, Ms Meg
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
Organ, Diana
Osborne, Sandra (Ayr)
Owen, Albert
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter (Burnley)
Plaskitt, James
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Ken
Purnell, James
Quinn, Lawrie
Rammell, Bill
Raynsford, rh Nick
Reed, Andy (Loughborough)
Robinson, Geoffrey (Coventry NW)
Robinson, Mrs Iris (Strangford)
Robinson, Peter (Belfast E)
Rooney, Terry
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Roy, Frank (Motherwell)
Ruane, Chris
Russell, Ms Christine (City of Chester)
Salter, Martin
Sarwar, Mohammad
Savidge, Malcolm
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Shipley, Ms Debra
Short, rh Clare
Singh, Marsha
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, rh Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Southworth, Helen
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Steinberg, Gerry
Stewart, David (Inverness E & Lochaber)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Strang, rh Dr. Gavin
Stringer, Graham
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Taylor, rh Ann (Dewsbury)
Taylor, Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark (S Derbyshire)
Trickett, Jon
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr. Desmond (Brighton Kemptown)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Tynan, Bill (Hamilton S)
Vaz, Keith (Leicester E)
Walley, Ms Joan
Ward, Claire
Wareing, Robert N.
Watts, David
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, rh Alan (Swansea W)
Williams, Betty (Conwy)
Winnick, David
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Wood, Mike (Batley)
Woodward, Shaun
Woolas, Phil
Worthington, Tony
Wright, David (Telford)
Wright, Iain (Hartlepool)
Wright, Tony (Cannock)

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Tom Watson and
Ms Bridget Prentice

Question accordingly negatived.

8 Feb 2005 : Column 1462

Question, That the proposed words be there added, put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 31 (Questions on amendments), and agreed to.

Mr. Deputy Speaker forthwith declared the main Question, as amended, to be agreed to.


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