MINISTERS are braced for a series of legal challenges over Government proposals to cancel the passports of UK nationals who travel abroad to fight for the Islamic State (IS) terror group.
A new counter-terrorism Bill will include measures blocking individuals from returning from Syria and Iraq to the UK for at least two years unless they comply with strict measures.
They could include being escorted back to Britain and then facing prosecution, bail-style reporting conditions, deradicalisation courses or being subjected to Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measure orders (Tpims).
Any attempt to sneak back into the UK clandestinely after passport cancellation would be punishable by up to five years in prison.
Airlines will be ordered to comply with a “no-fly list” of individuals barred from travel to the UK because of suspected involvement in terrorist activities and to use interactive electronic data systems capable of receiving instructions to offload or to screen any passenger. Any airlines which bring banned individuals into the country could face civil penalties, including the removal of the right to land in the UK.
Downing Street hopes the changes could be in place by January after reaching agreement with the Liberal Democrat side of the coalition Government – with plans to beef up Tpims to allow the state to dictate where in the UK individuals subject to an order can live among ideas absent from the announcement.
But Shami Chakrabarti, director of civil rights group Liberty, said: “Dumping suspect citizens like toxic waste, abdicating your responsibilities to the international community, is a very strange way of promoting the rule of law.”