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Conservatives set the anti-terror agenda

David Cameron has welcomed Gordon Brown's decision to adopt Conservative policy and announce plans to establish Britain's first unified Border Force.

And with the Government also examining Conservative proposals which would allow for terror suspects to be questioned after being charged, the Opposition Leader proclaimed: "This Party is setting the agenda for making this country safe."

Mr Cameron's comments came in the Commons after the Prime Minister announced that officers from the Border and Immigration Agency, Revenue and Customs, and UK Visas will be merged into a single force that will check on travellers entering Britain's ports and airports.

Mr Brown told MPs: "At the main points of entry to the UK we will establish a unified border force, leading to one single primary checkpoint for both passport control and for customs."
Mr Cameron responded: "I am delighted he has adopted our policy on a border police force."

Although Labour previously described the policy as 'damaging, disruptive and distracting', he added:" I am pleased the Prime Minister now agrees, and that questions across the despatch box have resulted in action from the Government."

On allowing the questioning of suspects after they have been charged, Mr Cameron declared: "Isn't this the most important way of ensuring the police can get their job done without introducing what may well start to look like executive internment."

And while he promised to examine the Government's proposed consultation paper on plans to extend from the current 28 days the time in which terror suspects can be held without charge, Mr Cameron insisted that further real evidence was needed to justify the move.

He said: "Rather than passing a new law, will the Prime Minister look at the Civil Contingencies Act, which gives the Government the power to detain people for an additional 30 days in time of national emergency? That makes a total of 58 days - two more than the Prime Minister is proposing today, and without introducing a repressive new law."

Mr Cameron added: "Shouldn't we ask that ministers prove all existing laws are being used before they reach for new legislation? Will the Prime Minister recognise that all of the actions necessary - the better use of intelligence, stronger policing, cracking down on extremists, passing the necessary laws - all this may come to nothing unless he is prepared to take a tough and hard-headed look at the Human Rights Act."

Commenting on the Border Force plan, Shadow Home Secretary David Davis said: "We welcome the Government finally adopting our policy of having a unified border force, but it has got to be delivered properly.

"Our concern is that the Government's proposal is simply the same old ineffective porous border control, albeit in a different uniform, instead of a new specialised unified police force equipped with the powers necessary to do the job."

Cameron, David

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