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Volume 174: debated on Thursday 14 June 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions he has had on international co-operation to combat terrorism.

In the past three months my right hon. and learned Friend has discussed international cooperation against terrorism with ministerial colleagues from Germany, France, Czechoslovakia, Portugal and Bahrain, and will be discussing it with colleagues in the Trevi group at meetings in Dublin later today and tomorrow.

Why has no one been prosecuted for the Lockerbie outrage, bearing in mind that the Minister's Scottish colleague, the Lord Advocate, promised some time ago that a prosecution would take place? What has gone wrong? People around the world want to know. What is happening? It seems as though the Government are turning a blind eye to an issue which is clearly important to us all.

What the hon. Gentleman says is a load of nonsense. Investigations are proceeding with great urgency. We are receiving a great deal of co-operation around the world and I have no doubt that in due time arrests will be made.

Does my hon. Friend consider that the fight against international terrorism is compatible with the removal of all border controls between nation states? Is he receiving support from his Common Market partners in resisting the dismantling of all border controls for that purpose?

We have made it clear that we intend to keep our border checks and we find that there is increasing sympathy and understanding for our view among our EC partners.

Are not open borders in 1992 and the continued assertion that the Government intend to dismantle all border controls incompatible with adequate controls against terrorism and the illegal movement of arms and drugs? So far, the Government have not told us of even one measure that they intend to take against the removal of barriers in 1992. All that they have done is to make platitudinous assertions.

We have made it clear that we intend to keep border controls and checks. We can do that in a way that is consistent with easy movement of EC nationals, who merely need to indicate who they are at the border checks.