National Security Bill, Report Stage

The National Security Bill returned to Parliament for its Report Stage on 16 November 2022. The Bill makes provisions around espionage, sabotage and persons acting for foreign powers.  I voted for a number of amendments and New Clauses to the bill. 

New Clause 3 would have created a new independent role, which would have been in charge of reviewing the laws concerning state threats.  This would have added necessary oversight. I voted for the new clause, which was lost, Ayes: 211 and Noes 283.

Amendment 14 would have removed Clause 27 from the Bill. Clause 27, as it stands, removes criminal liability for actions carried out abroad for the proper exercise of any function of the Security Service, the Secret Intelligence Service, GCHQ or armed forces.  I voted to support this amendment, which was lost, Ayes: 212 and Noes 283.

Amendment 60 was a Government amendment which set out a series of offences, to which is it no longer a defence to claim modern slavery. The Amendment was introduced less than one week before the final stages of the Bill, which means there has been very little time for scrutiny and proper due diligence.   I voted against this amendment, which was passed, Ayes: 275 and Noes 209.

The Bill passed its Third Reading in the House of Commons and will now be debated in the House of Lords.