Model Conference Resolution on Prevent

Scrap Prevent

This model resolution is intended for use by Scottish political parties. It could be adapted to cover additional points or to omit details that might be unnecessary. Help position your party or branch to be part of the fight back against Islamophobia and political policing - table a resolution along these lines.

Conference notes that:

  • The Prevent strategy is part of the UK’s counter-terrorism strategy and is therefore reserved to Westminster, but is implemented in Scotland through Scottish public bodies (eg local authorities, schools, HE and FE colleges, the NHS, Police Scotland, the prison service) and so mainly involves functions that are devolved to Holyrood.
  • No Scottish MPs took part in the March 2015 debate in the House of Commons on the Prevent Duty Guidance for Scotland issued under the Counter Terrorism and Security Act (CTSA) 2015, and there has been no debate on the Prevent strategy in the Scottish Parliament.
  • The three Prevent Duty Guidance documents for Scotland (the Prevent Duty Guidance for Scotland, the Prevent Duty Guidance for Further Education Institutions in Scotland and the Prevent Duty Guidance for Higher Education Institutions in Scotland) were all published jointly by the UK and Scottish Governments and carry the logos of both governments, although the CTSA only requires that the UK Government “consult” Scottish Ministers before issuing guidance.
  • The Prevent Duty Guidance for Scotland defines extremism as “vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs.”
  • The sections of the CTSA that relate to the Prevent strategy do not apply in Northern Ireland.
  • The STUC, the UCU, the NUS, the EIS and the NUT are opposed to the Prevent strategy.
  • The Open Society Justice Foundation, in its report on the UK’s Prevent Counter-Extremism Strategy in Health and Education, has recommended that the Prevent duty should be repealed for these sectors.
  • Rights Watch UK, in its report on Human Rights and UK Counter-Terrorism Policy in Schools, has recommended that the Prevent strategy should be “repealed and abandoned” for schools.

Conference believes that:

  • Prevent' is coercive propaganda that legitimises UK wars, institutionalises Islamophobia and intimidates Muslims who dissent from UK Government policy.
  • Intelligence and security agencies and police should have no role in shaping or monitoring political discourse in Scotland.
  • The Prevent strategy’s construction and coercive promotion of 'British values' is racist, islamophobic and reactionary and is particularly inappropriate for Scotland.
  • The UK Government's attempt to determine what Muslims may and may not believe damages civil society, amounts to social engineering, and is unacceptable.
  • In contributing to the spread of Islamophobia, 'Prevent' is assisting the growth of fascist and far-right movements.
  • 'Prevent' has no part to play in countering the UK's far-right organisations or the Islamic State.
  • The Prevent strategy is potentially in conflict with the human rights obligations of Scottish public bodies.
  • The most effective way to reduce the risk that people are drawn into involvement with terrorist violence is to avoid involvement in unjust wars, to avoid giving support to repressive regimes, to eliminate institutional racism and Islamophobia (including the Prevent strategy) and develop a tolerant, multi-racial, multi-cultural society.

Conference calls:

  • For the Prevent strategy to be scrapped and for the Counter Terrorism and Security Act to be repealed or, if the Act is not repealed, for it to be amended so that the sections that relate to the Prevent strategy do not apply in Scotland.
  • For the Scottish Government to dissociate itself from the Prevent strategy and to refuse to be cited as co-author or co-publisher with the UK Government of any further Prevent Duty Guidance documents issued under the CTSA.
  • For the Scottish Government to introduce a clear separation between its equality policies and any policies relating to Prevent.
  • For the Scottish Government to advise public bodies in Scotland that, in interpreting the requirement under Section 26 of the CTSA to “have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism", they should ensure that they comply fully with their obligations under the Human Rights Act and with other equality and human rights principles and policies, and ensure that their staff are informed of these obligations, principles and policies and of the threat to them posed by Prevent.