Labour would allow terrorists back to the UK, opposing plans announced yesterday by David Cameron to refuse to allow British nationals who engage in terrorism to come back to the country. The comments came from a spokesperson for Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper, who said that refusing to allow terrorists back to Britain risked other countries leaving them stranded here.
Cooper had previously complained that she was unclear on exactly what form Cameron’s plan to restrict right of residence would take. Today her team took a stronger line, suggesting that we had a duty to deal with ISIS terrorists in Britain.
Yesterday, the Prime Minister told the House of Commons it was “abhorrent” British citizens had “declared their allegiance” to groups like ISIS. But he warned that the present situation in which terrorists who hold British citizenship can return to the UK was “a gap in the armoury”. He also promised cross-party negotiations on how exactly to ban them.
Yvette Cooper’s spokesperson told Breitbart London: “If someone is guilty of terrorism we want to see them properly prosecuted and where that isn’t possible for their movements to be restricted by Control Orders. If we refuse to take our terrorists back and deal with them, then other countries might do the same and that could mean having to keep foreign terrorists in this country for years.
“There has been a lot of pre-briefing by various departments about the proposal to stop home-grown terrorists returning to the UK. It is by no means clear exactly what the government want to do, but on the face of it we think what they propose would not be allowed in international law.”
Her comments are likely to infuriate the government, who took drastic action on the right of residency issue as the UK terror threat was raised to “severe”, meaning that an attack is now very likely. The government was also warned by the King of Saudi Arabia that unless action was taken fast well trained jihadis would return home to wreak havoc in Europe.
So far the UK has estimated that 500 British nationals are fighting for ISIS, raising concerns that they may return to the country. Whilst they could be prosecuted in theory the ISIS regime has not been infiltrated enough for there to be any real evidence of wrongdoing against large numbers of them.
This could lead to returning jihadis either being found not guilty or authorities having so little hard evidence against them that no action can be taken. Raising the possibility of them being allowed to roam the streets and plot terrorist attacks.
In his statement Cameron was firm that he did not want terrorists in the country, but fell short of pledging to take their citizenship away altogether. Instead he wanted to create a legal half-way house that meant they could remain UK nationals but not live in the country. He claimed this would avoid the risk of the government falling foul of rules prohibiting countries making their citizens stateless.
He said: “Adhering to British values is not an option or a choice. It is a duty for all those who live in these islands so we will stand up for our values, we will in the end defeat this extremism and we will secure our way of life for generations to come.”