Studying, William and Kate, Royal Courts of Justice, Prime Minister David Cameron, Winston Churchill, Parliament

BRIT Review

We needed more from the PM on tackling returning IS Jihadists

Monday, September 01, 2014


The Summer Recess is well and truly over.

Prime Minister, David Cameron hit the right tone in Parliament today about the raised terror threat in the UK. But in one crucial area, despite reports of the coalition partners being 'locked in talks' this weekend, it was lacking in substance. Perhaps the PM and his Liberal colleagues couldn't agree?

The 'easier' issue of tackling people leaving the country was taken head on. Police will be given temporary powers to take passports from anyone who's motivation for travel needs further investigation. At the moment this process is far too cumbersome. It was also stated that the UK will get tougher with airlines who will now be compelled to provide intelligence agencies with passenger lists.

However, the PM was disappointingly vague on the much larger problem of how to manage the return of British people participating in terrorist activities. The complexities, despite posturing that Parliament not the Courts will have the final say, is one of international law that says you can not make somebody 'stateless' by withdrawing their citizenship. 

It is not easy for the Government and there is a world of difference between taking someone's passport and taking someone's citizenship away. But we have been told that the UK Threat Level needs to be raised and this vital area of policy was fudged this afternoon into merely the principle of 'discretionary targeted powers' and a call for cross party talks. 

The challenge presented by IS is growing; recess is over and those talks need to start with some urgency.


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