HC Deb 26 November 2001 vol 375 cc719-20
Mr. Bradshaw

I beg to move amendment No. 23, in page 22, line 14, leave out from "involved" to end of line 18 and insert "—

  1. (a) the development or production outside the United Kingdom of any thing mentioned in section 1(1)(a) or (b) above;
  2. (b) the movement of any such thing into or out of any country or territory;
  3. (c) any proposal or attempt to do anything falling within paragraph (a) or (b) above'.

The Chairman

With this it will be convenient to discuss Government amendments Nos. 24 to 29.

Mr. Bradshaw

The amendments fall into three groups. Amendments Nos. 23, 25 and 28 are required to enable Customs and Excise officers to investigate and, where appropriate, prosecute offences concerning the development or production of the relevant weapon overseas. Such offences are likely to involve the transfer into or out of a country of technology relating to the development of biological, chemical or nuclear weapons, or the provision of services overseas. These technical amendments will allow customs officers to investigate all relevant offences, and will bring provisions in the Bill more into line with those in the Export Control Bill, which is being considered in the other place.

While cases in Scotland are prosecuted by the relevant procurator fiscal, Customs and Excise officers are responsible for investigation of customs matters throughout the United Kingdom. Amendments Nos. 24, 26 and 29 will make it clear that customs' investigation role in respect of such cases will apply in Scotland, as it does in England and Wales and Northern Ireland.

Amendment No. 27 makes it clear that application of clause 47 is not restricted to acts done outside the United Kingdom. The amendment brings the structure of the clause into line with similar clauses elsewhere.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment made: No. 24, in page 22, line 38, after "to", insert "the institution of'.—[Mr. Bradshaw.]

Clause 45, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

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