Liberal Democrats

F24: Defeating Terrorism, Protecting Liberties

Submitted by Federal Policy Committee

Mover: Rt Hon Sir Edward Davey MP | Summator: TBA

This motion applies to    except 3 (lines 60-61) which is 󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

Summary:

Britain has recently and repeatedly come attack from terrorism. In the modern world, the security threats we face are complex, challenging and diverse; the continued fallacy peddled by Government is that by increasing surveillance and destroying our civil liberties we will be more safe. This motion rebuts that notion and instead calls for:

  1. Proper funding of the police to enable them to work in communities to tackle all types of crime, including violent extremism.
  2. The creation of a community-led, counter-radicalisation programme in place of the failed Prevent strategy.
  3. The scrapping of legislation allowing for the collection of internet connection records, instead focusing on the legitimate investigation and surveillance of suspects and those involved in criminal activity.

The motion also recognises the borderless nature of the modern terrorist threat and therefore the need to work with others to combat and ultimately defeat terrorism. It calls on for the continued membership of key EU crime-fighting tools such as Europol, European Arrest Warrant, SIS II and Prum.

Full text of the motion:

Conference condemns the appalling terrorist attacks earlier this year in Manchester and London.

Conference mourns the lives lost and stands in solidarity with all those caught up in and affected by the attacks.

Conference applauds the work the police and security services do to keep us safe and the emergency services who run towards danger when outrages occur.

Liberal Democrats believe that in the modern world, the security threats we face are complex, challenging and diverse; a strong and effective response to the threat of terrorism, which will both discourage others from wanting to harm us, and provide strong mechanisms against people who do, must be based on:

  1. Supporting local communities where there is a risk of radicalisation leading to terrorist acts, to take an effective lead in tackling violent extremism.
  2. Supporting, expanding, and properly funding strong community policing which works at a local level with communities to tackle all types of crime, including violent extremism.
  3. Ensuring the intelligence and security services have the powers necessary to investigate and bring to justice those who have committed or are likely to commit terrorist acts, and resource them sufficiently so they are able to monitor known suspects, particularly those who have returned from fighting abroad.
  4. The central principle that indiscriminate, mass surveillance by the government without judicial oversight is contrary to our fundamental values, vulnerable to abuse, and there is no strong evidential basis that it is an effective means of intelligence gathering.
  5. A system that works across borders and with partners, recognising that terrorism and violent extremism does not respect national borders - this includes our work with our European partners via organisations such as Europol and using tools such as the European Arrest Warrant, which must not be weakened or undermined as part of the Brexit negotiations.

Conference rejects the Government's plans to:

  1. Regulate the internet via "blunt instrument" techniques which are unlikely to make our children safer online, and will damage the UKÕs digital and creative industries, whilst also curtailing hard won civil liberties.
  2. Introduce internet connection records, effectively a mass surveillance tool to collect and store every web page visited by UK-based internet users for 12 months.
  3. Strengthen the 'Prevent' strategy which has clearly failed and alienated the very communities it seeks to engage.
  4. Continue to cut budgets for local police forces.
  5. Weaken or ban encryption which is vital to all our individual security online and our critical infrastructure. Any attempts to weaken encryption would leave us vulnerable to criminals and hostile state and non-state actors.
  6. Withhold intelligence from our European allies as a bargaining chip in their extreme Brexit negotiations.

Conference calls on the Government to:

  1. Scrap the Prevent Strategy, and replace it with a new programme called ÔEngageÕ - an inclusive community engagement strategy that would support communities to lead in developing their own approach to tackling the dangers of violent extremism.
  2. Scrap legislation allowing for the collection of internet connection records instead focusing on the legitimate investigation and surveillance of suspects and those involved in criminal activity.
  3. Invest in community policing understanding that it is local communities who are the best source of intelligence.
  4. Introduce a Digital Bill of Rights to protect our rights online and enhance data protection in accordance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation.
  5. Ensure that the Commission on Counter-Extremism announced in the QueenÕs Speech is independent, expert-led and brings together a multitude of voices.
  6. Maintain Britain's membership of key EU crime-fighting tools such as Europol, European Arrest Warrant, SIS II and Prum.

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