UK Home Secretary Theresa May

The UK Home Office has unveiled a new bill that will give the country tougher powers to combat the increasing threat from international terrorism.

Presented by the UK Home Secretary Theresa May, the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill is intended to allow the UK to stop citizens from travelling abroad to fight, reduce the risks they pose on their return and tackle the underlying ideology that feeds, supports and sanctions terrorism.

May said: "These powers are essential to keep up with the very serious and rapidly changing threats we face.

"In an open and free society, we can never entirely eliminate the threat from terrorism.

"But we must do everything possible in line with our shared values to reduce the risks posed by our enemies.

"This bill includes a considered, targeted set of proposals that will help to keep us safe at a time of very significant danger, by ensuring we have the powers we need to defend ourselves."

Scheduled to be enacted at the earliest opportunity, the bill will provide police with a temporary power to seize the passports of suspected terrorists at the border and create a Temporary Exclusion Order for controlling the return of British terrorists from overseas.

"These powers are essential to keep up with the very serious and rapidly changing threats we face."

The legislation will also enhance the UK’s border security by improving transport security arrangements around passenger data, ‘no fly’ lists and screening measures.

In addition, it aims to prevent radicalisation and ensure that local insurance companies cannot reimburse the payment of terrorist ransoms. The attribution of Internet Protocol addresses to specific individuals is also included.

The UK has also established the Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit, which has removed more than 65,000 pieces of unlawful terrorist-related content hosted in the UK or overseas from the internet since February 2010.

According to the Home Office, many of the 500 British citizens who have travelled to Syria and Iraq in recent months have joined terrorist groups.

Image: The Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill is intended to counter the threat posed by international terrorism. Photo: Crown copyright.

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