CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

HOME AFFAIRS – PREVENTION OF TERRORISM ACT – 2 February 2006

Dr Julian Lewis: What proportion of people who are giving the Government cause for concern came to this country illegally? Of those, how many would be returned if memoranda of understanding could be reached? What will we do if the courts decide to strike down those memoranda of understanding?

[The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr Charles Clarke):  I do not have figures on the first question. The hon. Gentleman's third question contradicts his second, by which I mean that the role of the MOU and how it operates and how effective the MOU [Memorandum of Understanding] is in returning people to countries from which they have come depends entirely on the court judgment of the integrity of the MOU process. His two questions are related. I cannot require a court to agree with my decision purely because an MOU is in place. However, in a case that I make to a court, I can point to or conclude an MOU and try to operate in accordance with it. I cannot prejudge how a court will decide to interpret a particular MOU.]