Clause 56 - Interpretation etc

National Security Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 2:15 pm ar 8 Medi 2022.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Thomas Tugendhat Thomas Tugendhat Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)

Clause 56 gives the meaning of numerous terms used throughout this part of the Bill. Subsection (2) sets out that the Secretary of State can consider evidence that was relied upon for the original part 2 notice when assessing whether to continue with measures or to impose new measures on a subject. This will be alongside evidence of engagement in

“new foreign power threat activity”,

where relevant for a new notice. This ensures that the Secretary of State is able to consider all the relevant information that may imply a pattern of behaviour. It does not weaken what we discussed when we considered clause 33: evidence of

“new foreign power threat activity” is required if a further part 2 notice is to be applied after five years.

Subsection (3) provides that

“if a Part 2 notice is revived under section 42(6)” when considering whether there is

“new foreign power threat activity”,

which could allow for a new STPIM after five years, that new activity must take place at some point after the original imposition of the measures and not necessarily after the revival.

Photo of Stewart Hosie Stewart Hosie Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Cabinet Office), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Constitution)

I want to raise one issue in relation to clause 56(5), which relates to a provision in cases in which the Secretary of State does not bother to respond to an application to vary or revoke a part 2 notice. That is treated as a decision not to vary, but from when? Given the importance of the tight timescales within which to lodge appeals, in respect of a decision not to vary when the Secretary of State chooses not to respond, does the clock start ticking when the application is sent to the Secretary of State, when it is received at the ministerial office or when the Secretary of State takes a decision not to respond? When does the clock start ticking to allow subsequent action in the courts to be taken if the Secretary of State simply chooses not to respond and that is taken to mean a thing?

Photo of Thomas Tugendhat Thomas Tugendhat Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)

The clock does not start ticking until the notice is enforced. At that point, the timing begins.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 56 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.