Lib Dems stand up for civil liberties

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

The Liberal Democrats are opposing Government proposals to:

  • criminalise “reckless” speech,
  • make it a crime just to travel to certain places,
  • criminalise what you read on the internet,
  • give police more power to hold innocent people’s DNA, and
  • allow officers to detain people at airports without suspicion.

None of these new laws are necessary to combat terrorism. Instead, they pose a serious threat to the civil liberties of innocent people.

This Bill does little to fight terrorism, and a lot to destroy our freedoms.

The Bill has drawn criticism from Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights, which said it “strikes the wrong balance between security and liberty”, and the human rights group Liberty, which warns that it “poses several significant threats to civil liberties and human rights”.

Liberal Democrat MPs voted “No” on Third Reading of the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill in the House of Commons on Tuesday evening. They were joined only by Caroline Lucas, while Labour voted with the Conservatives to pass the Bill by 376 votes to 10.

Ed Davey, the party’s Home Affairs spokesperson, said:

The Liberal Democrats are determined to combat terrorism and support action that will keep Britain safe. But the Government has failed to provide evidence that most of these new laws will help in the fight against terrorists. This Bill does little to fight terrorism, and a lot to destroy our freedoms.

“The Liberal Democrats demand better. We’re standing up for civil liberties and calling for a real, evidence-based response to the threat of terrorism that actually makes us safer.”