Anti-terror law 'would stop British jihadists coming home for two years', says David Cameron

David Cameron said that UK nationals would be unable to return 'unless they do so on our terms'

British jihadists fighting in Iraq or Syria could be banned from returning home for at least two years, under David Cameron’s plans to deter young extremists from fighting overseas.

Police would be allowed to strip Britons – including under-18s – of their passports for up to 30 days if they suspect them of preparing to join foreign terrorist groups such as Isis.

The Prime Minister revealed details of the anti-terrorism Bill as part of his address to the Australian Parliament in Canberra. Mr Cameron is in Australia for the G20 Leaders Summit this weekend.

The Government wants to stop British jihadists returning unless they agree to strict conditions. The idea of was widely criticised when it was floated by ministers in August, as it would in effect render individuals stateless.

Dominic Grieve, the Conservative former Attorney General, had warned that the initiative would be a “non-starter” that could breach international law and UK common law, but Downing Street insists it has legal cover.

Mr Cameron said that British nationals would be unable to return to the UK “unless they do so on our terms”. If not, they will face a temporary exclusion order of two years, with the possibility of another being imposed after that.

At present only the Home Secretary has the power to strip people of their passports, but the Government wants a more flexible system that can react quickly to evidence of potential terrorist activity overseas.

Police would be able to reseize suspects’ passports if they tried to leave the country again, although the suspects would be granted a magistrate’s review after two weeks in each case and officers would have to explain themselves if they repeatedly blocked someone’s departure.Under-18s will also be covered by the passport-stripping powers as fears have grown over British teenage jihadists fighting – and being killed – in the Middle East. It is understood that the majority of those travelling to fight for extremist groups are aged 16 to 21.

Last month Jaffar Deghayes, 17, from Brighton, was confirmed to have died fighting for a Syrian affiliate of al-Qaeda, months after his brother, who was only a year older, had suffered the same fate.

“You have to deal with the threat of foreign fighters planning attacks against our people,” Mr Cameron was due to say in Canberra.

There will also be a clampdown on airlines that carry passengers who are on no-fly lists or that do not comply with security screening measures. They could even be banned from landing in the UK.

David-Cameron.jpgThe Prime Minister was also due to tell Australian politicians that they needed to deal with the “root cause” as well as the “consequences” of extremism. He added: “In our democracies we must never give in to the idea that disagreeing with a foreign policy in any way justifies terrorist outrages.”

Mr Cameron is also expected to wade into the row over tax allegations surrounding Jean-Claude Juncker, whom the Prime Minister failed to prevent becoming European Commission president in June. Mr Juncker has now been accused of encouraging tax avoidance when he was Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Luxembourg.

Tackling tax avoidance is one of the main discussion points of the G20 summit this weekend and is an issue that Downing Street claims to have “spearheaded” and “done the hard running on” internationally.

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