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Aid Restrictions on State Sponsors of Terror Act 2016  

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William Croft
(@william-croft)
Member
Joined: 5 months ago
Posts: 216
12/07/2019 8:12 pm  

Mr. Speaker,

I beg leave to introduce the following bill as a 10 Minute Rule Bill. 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MGA4nQDGrZVhM9hxejqInYLjAjrsAKf5AY1N3CbL9II/edit?usp=sharing

(OOC: I'm re-introducing the legislation under a revised name at the request of the A-Team. I personally do not believe I'm under any obligation to do this, but I respect the work they do and don't want to cause a problem.)

(OOC: I'll be providing a speech for First Reading once Mac confirms that this bill is being used as our Oppo Day legislation) 

William Croft
Member of Parliament for Bracknell
Shadow Foreign Secretary
Chairman of the Conservative Party
Chief Whip of the Conservative party


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Macmillan
(@dylan-macmillan)
MP for North East Bedfordshire
Joined: 5 months ago
Posts: 525
13/07/2019 2:13 pm  

Mr Speaker as this is an opposition day I move that the bill be printed and read a second time.

Conservative MP for North East Bedfordshire
Leader of the Opposition

Prime Minister (2014)

Parliamentary Experience: Novice (25)
Media Experience: Experienced (62)
Policy Experience: Novice (29)


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Richard
(@richard)
Member A-team
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 124
13/07/2019 5:15 pm  

Order! Second reading!

Rick the Admin - The Resident Psephologist
Admin for Cabinet, PM's Office, DPM's Office, Defence, Energy, Regions, Environment, Transport, Communities, Elections, and Advisor to Labour and the Lib Dems


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Caroline Blakesley
(@caroline-blakesley)
Prime Minister & MP for Hammersmith
Joined: 1 month ago
Posts: 110
13/07/2019 5:52 pm  

Mr Speaker,

I thank the Rt Hon Member for Bracknell for presenting this legislation today. I certainly appreciate his zeal to contribute to the Government’s work against Daesh - which is to be commended. However, I will note that the Rt Hon Member did not heed my advice when presenting this legislation - which was quite simple: to consult the Government, and by extension the security services, the Diplomatic Service, and our officials at the Foreign Office and HM Treasury that are responsible for implementing sanctions. Alas we find ourselves here today.

This legislation, Mr Speaker, I have no doubt is well intended. Unfortunately, this legislation is a solution in search of a problem. There are no state sponsors of Daesh. This has been confirmed by the intelligence services. Quite simply, the legislation before us today would not impact current operations against Daesh. It does not act in synchrony with Government policies. Unfortunately, Mr Speaker, if I asked to describe what this legislation does, in practical terms, the only response I can muster is that it does not.

Now, Mr Speaker, one might ask what would happen if a state were to become a state sponsor of Daesh. First, Mr Speaker, the United Kingdom would apply UN-authorised sanctions to any individuals and entities within the state that supported Daesh. The sanctions regime for this protocol is already in place. Second, Mr Speaker, the United Kingdom would not provide arms sales to any such nation. In the event of a British company seeking to provide defence equipment to a state sponsor of Daesh, the Government would use its authority to block the export of such items. The Government has every authority provided for in this bill.

I commend the spirit of the Rt Hon Member from Bracknell, Mr Speaker. However, the ongoing prosecution of the war against Daesh requires solutions that achieve results, not solutions that seek problems. I look forward to working with the Rt Hon Member as this campaign develops. And, again, Mr Speaker, I encourage the Rt Hon Member to work with the Government if he seeks to develop legislation in support of the cause.

Caroline Blakesley
Prime Minister
MP for Hammersmith

Parliamentary: Unknown (13)
Media: Unknown (17)
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William Croft
(@william-croft)
Member
Joined: 5 months ago
Posts: 216
15/07/2019 5:08 pm  

Mr. Speaker, 

I thank the Prime Minister for taking the time to come before the House and offer her opinions on the legislation we have submitted. While I appreciate her advice on policy making, I'd remind the Prime Minister that it is not the Opposition's responsibility, nor is it our role, to seek permission from the Government before introducing legislation. We do want to work alongside the Government on this issue, but as we did with the refugee crisis, we will take the lead on policy crafting when we find it appropriate. While I did not, and will not in the future, seek the Prime Minister's approval before introducing legislation, I did hope that we'd be able to work constructively on this matter as we have done in the past. 

Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, I am worried that that may not be the case. Before I address the concerns levied by the Prime Minister, however, allow me to actually explain what this legislation will achieve. 

The goal of this bill is quite simple. In practical terms, this legislation empowers the Government to immediately terminate foreign aid, arms sales, and other forms of financial and material assistance to foreign nations found to be state sponsors of ISIL. It requires the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to perform an annual review of the nations and foreign entities we offer foreign aid to, report their findings, and then move to terminate aid to any nations found to be assisting ISIL. The legislation ensures that not only will future Governments be obligated to be diligent in assessing whether the nations we are providing aid to may be state sponsors of ISIL, but also ensures they have the tools to act to eliminate all forms of assistance we are offering said nation. 

I know I speak for everyone in this House when I say we must be resolute in our commitment to fully and totally destroy terrorism wherever it exists. It is the Opposition's belief that such a goal is only achievable if we also eliminate all potential sources of funding that groups like ISIL may be receiving. The Opposition's argument is simple: we must never allow a situation to occur where British foreign aid, paid for by the British taxpayer, is used by terrorists to take British lives. That is a scenario we simply cannot stand for, and I expect those on the Government benches to work with us to ensure it never occurs. 

Now if you'll allow me, Mr. Speaker, I would like to address some of the points made moments ago by the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister argues that this legislation is a "solution in search of a problem," a characterization that I totally reject. The basis of good governance is the ability to preempt future problems by proposing tactics that eliminate the problem or mitigate the damage it could do to our country. The Prime Minister is absolutely right, there are currently no known state sponsors of ISIL that are receiving British foreign aid. But simply because this is the reality today, does not mean that this will be the reality we face tomorrow. It is absolutely vital when it comes to our national security that we take preemptive measures, that we plan ahead, that we are ready for all eventualities. Ensuring that the FCO is diligent in analyzing potential state sponsors of terror, and that they are equipped with the tools to immediately cut off British aid to any nation found to be a state sponsor, achieves the sort of advanced preparation we need to keep our country safe. 

And this is not simply a hypothetical problem, Mr. Speaker. There are examples littered through history of global powers providing aid to foreign nations, only for those nations to turn around and aid the enemies of the country they're receiving foreign aid from. Let's take a very recently instance for example: our American friends and Pakistan. For years, the United States has sent over a 1 billion US dollars in military aid annually to Pakistan. We now know that while this aid was being provided, Pakistan was providing material assistance and shelter to Al Qaeda terrorists, murderers who utilized the help Pakistan provided them to ramp up their offensive against US soldiers stationed in Afghanistan. The American taxpayer has footed the bill for foreign aid being sent to Pakistan for years, only for the Pakistanis to repay them by going out of their way to assist one the United States' greatest enemies. It is a reality faced by world powers every day, and it is in no way beyond comprehension that it could happen to The United Kingdom in our ongoing fight against ISIL. 

Rather than being taken by surprise, Mr. Speaker, the Opposition humbly suggests the alternative of being prepared. This isn't some radical plan that overcommits the Government to action they can't fulfill. It's not a wild idea that will put us at odds with our enemies. It is simple, logical proposal that ensures the British taxpayer knows with confidence that not a single pound of their hard earning money will ever find its way into the hands of ISIL terrorists. The Prime Minister is right to point out sanctions imposed at the UN level, but this legislation takes matters a step further. By mandating in law that aid is cut from state sponsors of ISIL, immediately terminating any arms deals, and denying access to British banking institutions this bill puts together a package of tactics that will cripple any nation seeking to aid this terrorist organization at Britain's expense. 

The legislation is not only reactive, Mr. Speaker, but also provides actionable good upon its passage. Because by passing the bill, Britain is sending a warning to nations around the globe to think twice before offering aid and shelter to the likes of ISIL terrorists. We are making it crystal clear that aiding ISIL will come with grave consequences, and that Britain will not look the other way when it comes to recipients of British aid directly or indirectly assisting the terrorist group. Just by passing this legislation we are decreasing the chances of a foreign nation becoming a state sponsor of ISIL by quantifying and codifying the direct consequences of taking such an action. We are eliminating would-be state sponsors of ISIL by making it imminently clear the damage that will be done to any nation that would consider taking such an action. 

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I would simply say this: there is no such thing as being too prepared when it comes to our fight against ISIL and the evil they seek to spread. I implore the Prime Minister to reconsider her position, and urge Government MPs to do the same. It is our goal on this side of the House to work with the Government on this issue, there is no reason to argue aimlessly, and I am confident we can achieve more when working together. But the Opposition's position is clear: we must pass this legislation, as it is a crucial tool in our arsenal to defeat ISIL. The British people are watching, they will see how we vote on this legislation, and they are expecting we do everything in our power to permanently eliminate the threat posed by ISIL.

Those who want to make Britain safer will stand in favor of this legislation. I know where I stand, and I hope the Government will stand with me.  

William Croft
Member of Parliament for Bracknell
Shadow Foreign Secretary
Chairman of the Conservative Party
Chief Whip of the Conservative party


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William (Will) Conway
(@will-conway)
MP for Milton Keynes North
Joined: 1 month ago
Posts: 80
15/07/2019 6:43 pm  

Mr. Speaker,

I completely agree with the comments made by my Right Honorable Friend the Shadow Foreign Secretary.  I have to say that I find the Government's position most peculiar.   The Opposition proposals is a preventative measure, much like an inoculation serves for the prevention of certain diseases.  The Prime Minister seems to be of the opinion that because something is not happening at this very moment, it is better to wait until it does to take action.  I don't think those who have been afflicted with deadly diseases like polio would agree.  The time to act is before something bad occurs, especially when the event is foreseeable and hardly outlandish.

Will Conway
Conservative
MP for Milton Keynes North (2014- )
Shadow Secretary of State for Energy,
Environment and Climate Change (2016- )

Parliamentary 16
Media 13
Policy 8


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Caroline Blakesley
(@caroline-blakesley)
Prime Minister & MP for Hammersmith
Joined: 1 month ago
Posts: 110
15/07/2019 7:50 pm  

Mr Speaker,

The problem posed today is that this isn’t a preventative measure. It’s a political measure meant to provide political talking points for a political party that wants to win a political victory. It is politics. And politics do not equate to policy, certainly not good policy.

Mr Speaker, the Rt Hon Member for Bracknell wants an annual report by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Does that mean if a state starts funding Daesh the day after the report is published that we will fund provide aid and military sales to them for a year before the next report is filed? Does the Rt Hon Member recognise how ridiculous that proposition sounds? One would hope so, Mr Speaker.

Does the Rt Hon Member think that there are not ongoing efforts to identify Daesh’s sources of financing and resources every day? Does the Rt Hon Member think that a single report made by the Foreign Office once a year would be more useful than those ongoing efforts? I do not think that it would. I trust the career officers who are studying Daesh day in and day out to provide us with the necessary information over a report.

Now, Mr Speaker, I will address the points made by the Rt Hon Member from Bracknell. First, Mr Speaker, the Rt Hon Member objects to my characterisation that this is a solution in search of a problem. He deems it a preemptive measure. The problem, Mr Speaker, is that preemptive measures to determine who supports Daesh and how they finance their measures are already in place. This bill would add nothing - not one thing - to those efforts. To suggest that our intelligence agencies, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Ministry of Defence, and other associated organisations are not diligent in assessing the financing of this group is foolish. Quite frankly it is insulting to the men and women who spend their day doing real work to fight the terrorist threat.

Second, Mr Speaker, the Rt Hon Member seems to think that this legislation will empower the Government to wage war against Daesh. Mr Speaker, that assumption is incorrect. The Government already has every power outlined in this bill. This legislation does nothing - not one thing - to give the Government additional powers to combat the terrorist threat. Mr Speaker, the Rt Hon Member may not be aware, which would be very concerning given his tenure as Foreign Secretary, but the Government has the power to suspend aid and block arms sales already. These are not new powers. They do not require additional legislation. Under existing sanctions regimes, the United Kingdom can target any company that does business in support of targeted terrorist groups with sanctions - so this bill does not provide that authority there.

Now, Mr Speaker, I would like to touch upon the comparison to Pakistan made by the Rt Hon Member. First, Mr Speaker, everyone was aware of the allegations regarding the ISI in Pakistan but the United States made the political decision to continue providing arms to Pakistan regardless. This was not some case of the United States being duped. Second, Mr Speaker, the comparison to Pakistan ignores the realities between the current situation and the fight in Afghanistan. They are fundamentally different. Daesh has an ideology of overthrowing all states and forming a global caliphate. No state would support that as it inevitably means their own destruction. The Taliban, despite their terrible actions, did not operate with that mindset. This lack of understanding regarding the geopolitical and ideological realities surrounding Daesh show just how out of his depth the Rt Hon Member is!

So, Mr Speaker, I challenge the Rt Hon Member to answer questions for the House regarding this legislation and the assumptions that he has, quite poorly, made.

Firstly, Mr Speaker, how will this legislation improve reporting on the finances of Daesh and does it improve current efforts in this regard? Does an annual report supercede the daily work being done by our intelligence services and our allies? Will an annual report somehow improve our preparedness beyond what is already being done?

Secondly, Mr Speaker, how will this legislation improve our capacity to fight terrorism? We have already established that, even in the absence of this legislation, the Government has the authority to suspend aid, halt arms sales, and apply sanctions to those supporting Daesh. What additional powers does this bill provide?

Third, Mr Speaker, if the Rt Hon Member is so concerned about preventing aid to state sponsors of terrorism, why does the Rt Hon Member target only Daesh in this legislation? Why does it not apply to all terrorist groups?

I look forward to the Rt Hon Member’s answers, Mr Speaker.

Caroline Blakesley
Prime Minister
MP for Hammersmith

Parliamentary: Unknown (13)
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Caroline Blakesley
(@caroline-blakesley)
Prime Minister & MP for Hammersmith
Joined: 1 month ago
Posts: 110
15/07/2019 8:26 pm  

Moreover, Mr Speaker, if I may extend my remarks.

The Rt Hon Member of Bracknell discussed the case of Pakistan and its work with the United States and the Taliban. Given that such information is generally public knowledge, can he advise this House how successful the United States' regulations and laws on state sponsors of terrorism were in the Pakistan case? Can he inform that House on, despite the evidence of the ISI supporting the Taliban, whether Pakistan was ever even designated a state sponsor of terrorism by the United States? Can the Rt Hon Member comment on the success of the state sponsors of terrorism system used by the United States and why we should seek to replicate it here?

Caroline Blakesley
Prime Minister
MP for Hammersmith

Parliamentary: Unknown (13)
Media: Unknown (17)
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Faye Gallacher
(@faye-gallacher)
Member
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 176
15/07/2019 8:27 pm  

Mr. Speaker,

I would just like to contribute to this debate to register my disappointment with the Opposition. I believe the Prime Minister has already outlined why this legislation was redundant and existed for nothing more than political punching. If you need any more evidence that this is political showmanship you only need to look at the clerks having to scold the Right Honourable Gentleman for Bracknell, who is still using that original bill title in the media. 

Mr. Speaker, as a Labour politician when I went into politics I made one commitment to myself: to give a voice for the voiceless. It's been the Labour Party's purpose from day one, and we must never forget it. That includes ensuring we defend and assist those who experience the most brutal manifestation of poverty we can imagine, often living on as much as one dollar a day - if not less. 

Of course Mr. Speaker if taxpayer pounds are being funnelled towards Daesh, the government already can and I can assure you this government would take every action we can to ensure that ceases. Mr. Speaker, I imagine should the government discover a state is funding Daesh it would take much stronger action than relinquishing aid. 

In establishing how this opposition does nothing, I believe it actually does something: perpetuate a sense of alarmism and panic surrounding foreign aid that is informed not by fact, but by fiction. Mr. Speaker I know the Opposition has little time for foreign aid in general, making their intent on slashing it full stop and weakening Britain's soft power and leaving us with a darker world in the process, but this bill makes it appear as if there is an endemic of Daesh being handed money from the British taxpayer. That, frankly, has no truth to it and I do hope the Opposition acknowledges that this is not the present reality in this House and in the press. Because if they do not, it is my sincere fear this bill will do more to hurt those in the most desperate need across the globe than it will Daesh. 

This post was modified 1 week ago by Dan

"[we] would rather die than leave the Labour Party." - Emily Thornberry.


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William Croft
(@william-croft)
Member
Joined: 5 months ago
Posts: 216
15/07/2019 8:29 pm  

Mr. Speaker, 

I am deeply disappointed in the Prime Minister's response, and I resent her characterization of this legislation as a mere political tactic. Despite her Government's embarrassing track record of continued failure, I've gone out of my way to give her the benefit of the doubt and attempt to work together where we can. I would never even think to suggest that her motives on an issue as important as defeating ISIL were rooted in political calculation. Unfortunately, she's not interested in extending the same courtesy to me. I would ask, Mr. Speaker, that she withdraw her baseless accusations.  

We've presented this legislation in good faith, in an attempt to add to the Government's existing strategy and work alongside them to achieve the mutual goal of ISIL's destruction. We did so after hearing calls from the Government that they would like to work with the Opposition. And upon doing so, rather than being met by a Government interested in working together, we see a Prime Minister adamant to attack us personally and to call into question our motives. It is deeply disappointing, Mr. Speaker. 

Despite that fact, I am still interested in attempting to participate in a constructive debate, because the constituents I represent deserve nothing less.

The Prime Minister has asked a number of questions about the legislation I have presented, and I would like to answer those questions. First, the report required by the FCO obviously does not supersede the regular work being done by British intelligence agencies. Nor, as the Prime Minister willfully misrepresented, would it prevent the FCO from taking immediate action to terminate aid to a nation found to be a state sponsor of ISIL. If either of these things were going to happen, they would have been specifically stipulated in the legislation. The purpose of the annual report is to guarantee Government transparency, something that I'm sure terrifies a Government that prefers to make decisions behind closed doors. The annual report presented to the House ensures that there is a regular opportunity for the people's elected representatives to review the Government's work, question their findings, and ensure they are upholding their obligations under the law. 

Second, this legislation enhances our ability to combat ISIL because it takes the additional step of codifying that aid to a foreign nation found to be a state sponsor of ISIL must be immediately terminated under the law. As the law stands today, the Government has the power to terminate foreign aid to any country, but they are not legally obligated to do so in any scenario. This legislation changes that, ensuring that the Government of the day is legally required to cut off all foreign aid being provided to a nation found to be supporting ISIL. It leaves no room for error, negotiation, or stipulation. It is a firm, legally binding commitment requiring the Government to terminate all aid. It not only sends a message to the world that Britain will not help those who aid our enemies, but it practically ensures that the Government is legally unable to restore foreign aid until it's able to prove that a nation formerly assisting ISIL has ceased all assistance. 

And third, Mr. Speaker, I would be more than happy to entertain an amendment from the Government widening the scope of this legislation to include all terrorist groups. I deliberately kept the scope narrow, out of a good-faith interest in submitting legislation that was specifically designed to compliment the Government's existing strategy in combatting ISIL. While it clearly was not taken this way by the Prime Minister and her Government, the intention was to compliment her ongoing work. Regardless, if the Government is interested in doing so, I think it would be more than appropriate to expand the scope of the legislation to include all forms of aid. 

William Croft
Member of Parliament for Bracknell
Shadow Foreign Secretary
Chairman of the Conservative Party
Chief Whip of the Conservative party


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William Croft
(@william-croft)
Member
Joined: 5 months ago
Posts: 216
15/07/2019 8:32 pm  

Mr. Speaker, 

And I would add, Mr. Speaker, that the Prime Minister's characterization of the situation between the US and Pakistan is precisely why this legislation must pass! It's not my place to critique the government of a foreign nation, but the United States' decision to continue providing Pakistan with aid despite knowing they've assisted Al Qaeda and the Taliban in the past illustrates the point this legislation is making. Under our legislation, upon passage all future Government's would be legally required to terminate aid to a state sponsor of ISIL regardless of their personal position on the matter.

Implementing a legally-binding requirement ensures there is no room for error, no wiggle room for consideration, but simply an ironclad guarantee that not a single British pound makes its way into the hands of ISIL terrorists. 

William Croft
Member of Parliament for Bracknell
Shadow Foreign Secretary
Chairman of the Conservative Party
Chief Whip of the Conservative party


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Caroline Blakesley
(@caroline-blakesley)
Prime Minister & MP for Hammersmith
Joined: 1 month ago
Posts: 110
16/07/2019 3:47 pm  

Mr Speaker,

I will not withdraw my remarks. If the Rt Hon Member were committed to working with the Government, he would not have presented this bill without consultation. He would not be claiming that this bill improves the Government’s strategy when it does nothing of the sort. He would not be spinning himself in circles trying to justify a bill that does nothing. Alas, these are all things that the Rt Hon Member did.

Moving to substantive points, Mr Speaker. The claim that this bill enhances anything is false. Enhancing something requires action and there will be no actions taken as a result of this bill. Not one state will lose one pound of funding if this bill were enacted into law today. If the Rt Hon Member wants to understand what enhancement is, I will refer him to the Government’s current strategy on Daesh. Utilising manned aircraft to increase a bombing campaign instead of just unmanned vehicles is enhancement, as it will result in increased bombing missions. Expanding the air campaign to Syria is enhancement, as it expands the theatre in which Daesh will be targeted. Deploy troops in a training capacity is enhancement, as it will provide additional resources to support our friends and allies in the fight against Daesh. Publishing a list with no names is not enhancement.

On the issue of a state sponsorship of Daesh, I wish to clarify a few things for the Rt Hon Member. First, Mr Speaker, nothing has united the international community more than the efforts against Daesh. It may be the only issue that unites the United States, United Kingdom, Iran, Russia, and numerous other states. Second, Mr Speaker, Daesh seeks to establish a global caliphate that would upend all states. Any state supporting Daesh would be, by default, supporting their own destruction. Daesh does not seek state sponsorship. They seek to topple all states. The notion of state sponsorship of Daesh is, at its core, fundamentally flawed.

Moving on to the Pakistan comparison, Mr Speaker, the Shadow Foreign Secretary demonstrates his lack of firm grasp on international relations and politics. Mr Speaker, Pakistan was never declared a state sponsor of terrorism because cutting off all aid to Pakistan would have removed any incentive for them to engage in operations against the Taliban or al Qaeda. And, despite elements in the ISI likely engaging in operations to support terrorists and despite a lack of Pakistani engagement in the tribal areas, Pakistan did engage to fight terrorists. Removing military and economic aid would have dramatically decreased this cooperation. The point, Mr Speaker, is that states are, in most cases, not inherently good or bad - unless, as a matter of policy, they explicitly support terrorist groups. There are components of each that must be balanced and our work with foreign states should respect that broadly.

Mr Speaker, in presenting legislation, the Opposition is obligated to demonstrate that this bill would have a practical impact on the fight against Daesh. They have thus far failed to do so. He says this bill is necessary to prevent a Pakistan scenario. That in and of itself shows a lack of understanding of the role of Pakistan in fighting the Taliban and al Qaeda. The Shadow Foreign Secretary has repeatedly proven himself out of his depth in understanding the ideology of Daesh and the international response to Daesh. The world is a much more complicated place than the Shadow Foreign Secretary wishes it to be. And the unfortunate reality is that proposing a bill that will not achieve tangible results in combating Daesh and is not going to help us win this war. Not one little bit.

Caroline Blakesley
Prime Minister
MP for Hammersmith

Parliamentary: Unknown (13)
Media: Unknown (17)
Policy: Unknown (16)


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William Croft
(@william-croft)
Member
Joined: 5 months ago
Posts: 216
16/07/2019 9:38 pm  

Madam Speaker, 

Again, I will say to the Prime Minister what I said before: it is not the obligation of the Opposition to first ask the Prime Minister of the day permission before submitting legislation. I understand how much she wishes it was this way, but alas it is not. It would be a disservice to the British people to have an Opposition that behaved in such a subservient manner to the Government. It is entirely possible to have a constructive, open, and friendly debate amongst Government and Opposition MPs after legislation has already been introduced. I had hoped this debate would be an opportunity to exchange ideas, enhance the legislation I have presented, and come out with an even stronger bill that would enhance our national security. Yet clearly that was never the Government's intention. 

Nevertheless, Madam Speaker, I would like to focus my time on the substance of the Prime Minister's argument. Because in once again bringing up the example of Pakistan, the Prime Minister has revealed the Government's true position on this legislation, that as of yet they have attempted to skirt around. 

Since this debate began the Government has argued, here in the House and in the press, that their opposition to our legislation rests on their belief that the bill does not accomplish anything. Now, Madam Speaker, we know that wasn't true. In referencing the Pakistan example, the Prime Minister said, "cutting off all aid to Pakistan would have removed any incentive for them to engage in operations against the Taliban or al Qaeda." 

For days the Prime Minister and her Government have been arguing that there's no reason for this legislation, because they would of course act on their own to terminate foreign aid to a known state sponsor of ISIL. Now, however, the Prime Minister is suggesting that the Government would not follow this course of action but instead continue to provide foreign aid because it can be a tool to incentive a state sponsor of terrorism to at least cooperate to some degree. The Prime Minister wants to reserve the right to continue to provide aid to known state sponsors of ISIL because she believes that's a sound national security policy. I wholly disagree. 

The Government isn't agains this legislation because they believe it won't achieve anything, Madam Speaker, they're against it because they want the leeway to continue providing foreign aid to state sponsors of terror when they think it's in the national interest. This is precisely why we have proposed the Opposition has proposed this legislation, because we want it to be the rule, not simply the norm, that all foreign aid must be suspended to a nation assisting ISIL. I do not believe continuing to provide foreign aid to such a nation in the hopes that it will allow us to retain some semblance of influence is a sound policy. It rests on the assumption that a state sponsor of ISIL could be trusted to act rationally and in our interests when needed, and it results in the British taxpayer indirectly funding a terror group. 

The Prime Minister didn't want the Government's real position on this legislation to come out, Madam Speaker, but now it has. The contrast between the Conservative Party and the Government could now not be anymore clear: unlike the Government, we believe it is never appropriate to continue providing foreign aid to a nation that has supported ISIL. For those in the House that needed confirmation that an ironclad guarantee was really needed, the Prime Minister has just provided it. 

William Croft
Member of Parliament for Bracknell
Shadow Foreign Secretary
Chairman of the Conservative Party
Chief Whip of the Conservative party


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Macmillan
(@dylan-macmillan)
MP for North East Bedfordshire
Joined: 5 months ago
Posts: 525
17/07/2019 12:45 pm  

Madame Speaker.

I would like to thank and praise my Right Honourable Friend, the Member for Bracknell, for this legislation, as has been said many times in the press it is unacceptable for any country to send aid to Daesh or to any other terrorist organisation. When this bill was being drafted Daesh were on the minds of everyone but it is clear that the scope of the problem goes far further. Madame Speaker in the press today the Prime Minister has openly, brazenly, and with no regard for the victims of radical Islamic terror whose families live here in this country advocated for taxpayers' money to be sent to nations that fund, aid, and abet terrorism. The example I draw upon from the press is that of Pakistan, a nation we have sent billions to over the years, a nation we send many millions to every single year, £463mn a year to be precise. Indeed Madame Speaker Pakistan are our single largest bilateral aid recipients, this is the same Pakistan that almost certainly harboured the World's most dangerous and most wanted man for years, Osama Bin Laden.

Madame Speaker this Prime Minister wants to send aid to the countries that fund, aid, and abet terrorism in the hopes that they have a Road to Damascus style conversion, the idea being that they shall see the error of their ways and repent immediately. This has not happened in the case of Pakistan, it continues to not happen on a daily basis across the World. At a time when we are removing sanctions placed on known terrorism promoters like Iran, who fund a ruthless and anti-Semitic campaign of violence against Israel through their proxies Hamas and Hezbollah, this Government wants to retain the right to send our taxpayers' money to countries that fund terrorism. It is in light of this shocking revelation that I believe that this bill is no longer sufficient, it is in light of the Prime Minister's open admission that she would happily see this country's paychecks sent to countries who help those who would see this country destroyed that I propose a very simple amendment to the legislation proposed before us.

Madame Speaker I beg leave to introduce the following amendment:

That any reference to "ISIL" be struck and replaced by "prescribed terrorist organisation"

Madame Speaker this amendment would extend the scope of this bill to cover the Government's dealings with any country that funds any terrorist organisation that is described as such by the Government's official records and databases. I urge members of this House to support the bill and I urge my Right Honourable Friend to accept the amendment as friendly.

Conservative MP for North East Bedfordshire
Leader of the Opposition

Prime Minister (2014)

Parliamentary Experience: Novice (25)
Media Experience: Experienced (62)
Policy Experience: Novice (29)


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William Croft
(@william-croft)
Member
Joined: 5 months ago
Posts: 216
17/07/2019 1:23 pm  

Madam Speaker, 

I thank the Leader of the Opposition for his amendment, and accept it as friendly.

William Croft
Member of Parliament for Bracknell
Shadow Foreign Secretary
Chairman of the Conservative Party
Chief Whip of the Conservative party


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