David Cameron has revealed new measures to try and combat the threat of terrorism against Britain.
The prime minister promised to address ‘gaps in our armoury’, as he authorised temporary powers to be given to the police to seize passports from suspects, as well as a mandatory passenger list to be given to the intelligence agencies from all airlines flying into Britain.
Speaking in the House of Commons, he said: “We have all been shocked and sickened by the barbarism we have witnessed in Iraq this summer. There are two key areas where we need to strengthen our powers to fill specific gaps in our armoury. These are around preventing suspects from travelling and dealing decisively with those already here who pose a risk.”
Cameron stated he would bring in new ‘specific and targeted legislation’ to give the police whatever powers necessary to temporarily seize a suspect’s passport at the border, in order to give authorities time to investigate them. Currently only the home secretary in Britain has the power to withdraw a passport from an individual.
Under the new legislation, airlines which do not disclose their passenger lists will not be allowed to land their planes in Britain.
He said the government would also discuss imposing a discretionary power to prevent Britons from returning home if they have pledged allegiance to extremist causes. This would extend existing powers which can only be applied to foreign nationals, naturalised citizens and those with dual nationalities.