30 November, 2006

al-Yamamah: will Blair act?

al Yamamah continues to unfold, with British jobs vanishing before our very eyes. The Daily Telegraph reports that Tony Blair is coming under pressures to intervene and that

.... it emerged that governments in Germany, Italy and Spain — Britain's partner nations in the Typhoon/Eurofighter project who are relying on the £10 billion contract for more work —are concerned about the SFO inquiry.

One defence source said: "Although BAE is leading the production of the Eurofighter, it has implications not just in the UK. [Other countries] are asking, 'Why can't the UK government control this'? "

Why indeed. It is a problem entirely of the government's own making. Despite warnings that this type of case would inevitably occur, ministers introduced the corruption legislation at a time before they had grown up politically and were still posturing like an opposition. It is long past time to end the enquiry. The left will squawk, but then they are always squawking about something. Yet, it is difficult to see what Blair can do, except prod the the Attorney General into action. It is the lawyer's call.

I am not a lawyer but, from this link, I think the relevant legislation is Part 12 of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security (ATCS) Act 2001, which came into force in 2002.

No comments: