If you live in the UK, you may have noticed that MPs in the House of Commons have just voted to extend pre-charge detention to 42 days.
42 days. That’s six weeks.
Six weeks, in which you could be locked up in a cell with no idea what you were being accused of.
Six weeks away from your friends and family.
Six weeks away from your job.
And they don’t even have to charge you with a crime.
But hold on, Piers. These are terrorists, right? They’re bad people who want to kill us. What if they can hold out longer than the current 28 day limit?
Well, in one of the most complex counter-terrorism investigations in British history, the evidence obtained to charge the two suspects charged with terrorism was obtained at four and twelve days respectively.
42 days? Hell, that’s nowhere near the edge of even the 28 days that we currently have. (Which, by the way, is roughly four times longer than that any comparable democracy in the world.)
But it’s not just all political posturing, right? The police and MI5 are asking for this change? Well, actually MI5 don’t, the police are split on the issue, and even the supporters of a longer detention period think that the bill in its current form is unworkable.
The bill will now move to the House of Lords, where we expect it to be defeated.
This is bad law, drafted by a desperate government.
Those behind it deserve nothing but our derision and contempt.