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Terrorist Asset Freezing

Volume 505: debated on Wednesday 3 February 2010

Following the Supreme Court’s decision in relation to the Government’s asset-freezing powers, I announced the Treasury’s intention to consider fast-track legislation to reinstate the asset-freezing regime.

It is our intention to introduce legislation that effectively reinstates the Terrorism (United Nations Measures) Order 2009, which the Government have in the past used in good faith. It is our belief that the fast-track legislation would be a proper response to the ongoing significant threat from international terrorism.

In order for the House to give adequate scrutiny to the proposed legislation, copies of the 2009 Order are available in the Vote Office and have been deposited in the Library. Copies of the legislation itself will be available immediately on the introduction of the Bill. Our ambition is to mirror the 2009 Order in the legislation we present to the House.

The Government also intend to bring forward affirmative procedure regulations under section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972 to ensure that enforcement provisions are in place to implement fully EC Regulation 881/2002 in respect of measures against al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

Taken together, the Government believe that these measures will help maintain an effective, proportionate and fair terrorist asset-freezing regime that meets our United Nations obligations, protects national security by disrupting flows of terrorist finance, and safeguards human rights.