§ Mr. Baker
To ask the Prime Minister on what date it was decided to include measures to address counter-terrorism abroad under the emergency legislation to deal with the security situation in Northern Ireland; what factors led to the decision to include such measures; and if he will make a statement.
§ The Prime Minister
It had long been the intention of the Government to legislate against conspiracy here to commit terrorist and other offences overseas. We had made it clear that we would legislate as soon as the programme allowed. The decision to include the provision to make it an offence to conspire in the United Kingdom to commit offences abroad, in what is now the Criminal Justice (Terrorism and Conspiracy) Act 1998, was taken once it was clear that anti-terrorism legislation would be brought forward following the bombing at Omagh.
In the wake of terrorist activity abroad, including the bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in August, the Government concluded that it was timely and right to legislate in this way in order to underscore further our total commitment to defeating terrorism wherever it is plotted or executed. The Government's decision was subject to extensive explanation and debate in both Houses of Parliament on 2–4 September. I refer the hon. Member to the Official Reports of the proceedings.