We’re standing up for civil liberties

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

The Government’s laws do nothing to address the real challenge of fighting terrorism. Instead, the bill contains worrying and wrongheaded measures that are unnecessary and attack individual freedoms.

  • criminalise “reckless” speech
  • make it a crime just to travel to certain places
  • criminalise what you read on the internet
  • allow police to hold innocent people’s DNA for longer
  • give officers more power 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.

This 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. They were joined only by Caroline Lucas.

Jeremy Corbyn was nowhere to be seen when it came to opposing this draconian law. Despite all his talk of holding the Tories to account, he was absent from this bill just like the Snoopers’ Charter. Meanwhile the Labour front bench voted with the Government.

So despite Corbyn squirming away from the vote Labour supported the Conservatives to pass the Bill by 376 votes to 10.

The Liberal Democrats demand better than this broken bill.

Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat 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.”