Lords examines Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill

Image of UK border control
18 December 2018

The Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill concluded its report stage, a further chance to examine the bill and make changes, in the Lords on Monday 17 December.

Members discussed a range of topics including a review of proscribed organisations, the case for national identity numbers and the responsibility of the government to produce reports on individuals detained under new port and border controls.

There was one division (vote) on a proposed amendment (change) to the bill.

The vote concerned the insertion of  new provision which would require the Secretary of State to make arrangements, within six month's of the Act's passing, for an independent review on the government's strategy to prevent vulnerable people being drawn into terrorism.

The provision would require any such report to:

  • be laid before both Houses of Parliament within 18 months of the Act's passing
  • include a statement from the Secretary of State in response to all recommendations made within the review

214 members of Lords voted in favour of the amendment and 196 voted against, and so the change was made.

Third reading, a chance to 'tidy up' the bill and make changes, is yet to be scheduled.

Lords report stage day one: Monday 3 December

Members discussed a range of subjects including expression of support for proscribed organisations, reasons for entering or remaining in designated areas and publication of images.

There were two divisions (votes) on proposed changes (amendments) to the bill.

Members considered a change which would make it an offence for a person to express an opinion or belief that 'supports' a proscribed organisation, rather than using the broader meaning of  'is supportive of', which could be applied to people beyond those who actually intend any wrong or harm.

93 Members were in favour of this amendment, with 198 against, and so the change was not made.

The next vote was on the addition of a number of situations in which an individual, who goes into or remains in a designated area, would not be committing an offence by that act. Such situations would include providing humanitarian aid, carrying out the work for the United Nations and working as a journalist.

220 members voted in favour of this addition and 191 voted against, and so the change was made.

Lords committee stage day four: Wednesday 14 November

Members discussed retention and protection of journalistic and legally privileged material, declaration of dual passports and access to a solicitor.

Lords committee stage day three: Monday 12 November

Members discussed a range of subjects, including the introduction of national identity numbers, continued participation in the European Arrest Warrant and biometric data.

Lords committee stage day two: Wednesday 31 October

Members discussed subjects including the act of treason in aiding a hostile state or organisation, extended sentences for terrorism offences and notification requirements.

Lords committee stage day one: Monday 29 October

Members discussed subjects including expressions of support for proscribed organisations, publication of images and seizure of articles and the movement of UK citizens in areas designated as having a risk of terrorism.

Lords second reading: Tuesday 9 October

Members discussed the pattern of radicalisation, new offences regarding expressing support for terrorist organisations and overseas travel.

Baroness Williams of Trafford (Conservative), minister of state in the Home Office, responded on behalf of the government.

Counter-Terrorism  and Border Security Bill summary

This bill aims to:

  • Amend certain terrorism offences for the digital age and to reflect contemporary patterns of radicalisation
  • Increase the maximum penalty for certain offences, ensuring the punishment better reflects the crime and better prevents re-offending
  • Manage offenders following their release from custody
  • Strengthen powers of the police to prevent and investigate terrorist offences
  • Harden the UK's defences at the border against hostile state activity

Further information

Image: PA

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