B1419 – Face Coverings Prohibition Bill 2018 Watch

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Saracen's Fez
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B1419 – Face Coverings Prohibition Bill 2018, Unown Uzer, SoggyCabbages MP
Face Coverings Prohibition Bill
A
BILL
TO

Prohibit the use of face coverings in public places.

BE IT ENACTED by The Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, in accordance with the provisions of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-

1) Definitions

(a) “Public place” in this bill includes any premises or place to which the public have or are permitted to have access at the material time, whether on payment or otherwise.
(b) “Public service” refers to any service provided to the public by or on behalf of any public agency or public enterprise of a legislative, administrative or judicial nature or in connection with public order or national security.
(c) “Public official” refers to a person engaged in, but not limited to, the provision of a public service.
(d) “Extreme weather conditions” include snowstorms, a UV index of 8 or above, and orange or red warning of rain according to the Met Office.
(e) “Permit” in the context of this bill refers to a document provided by the police to allow filming with a face covering in a public place.
(i) A permit will only be given by the police if written evidence confirming the need for the use of face coverings in filming is provided by a third-party, including but not limited to the administration of an educational institution or a film production company.

2) Prohibition of face coverings


(1) Subject to the exemptions in subsection (2), an individual who wears or uses a garment or other object with the intent to obscure one’s face as the primary purpose of wearing or using said garment or object in a public place shall be guilty of an offence.
(2) An individual does not commit an offence under subsection (1) if the garment or other object is worn—
(a) pursuant to any legislative or regulatory provision;
(b) as a necessary part of any activity directly related to a person’s employment;
(c) for reasons of health or safety;
(d) for the purposes of a sporting activity;
(e) for the purposes of filming that is approved with a permit from the police;
(f) within the boundaries of a place of worship; or
(g) under extreme weather conditions.

3) On private premises


(1) Where members of the public are licensed to access private premises for the purposes of the giving or receiving of goods or services, it shall not be an offence for the owner of such premises or his agents—
(a) to request that a person wearing a garment or other object intended to obscure the face remove such garment or object; or
(b) to require that a person refusing a request under subsection (a) leave the premises.

4) Public service


(1) A person—
(a) providing a public service in person to a member of the public; or
(b) receiving a public service in person from a public official; shall remove any garment or other object intended by the wearer as its primary purpose to obscure the face unless such garment or other object is reasonably required for reasons of health or safety.

5) Consequences of violation

Offenders shall be liable to mandatory community service and a maximum fine of—
(a) £500 on the first offence
(b) £2000 on the second offence
(2) Offenders shall be liable to community service, a maximum fine of £5000 and a maximum sentence of two years for each and every offence (from the second offence) thereafter.

6) Short title, commencement and extent


(1) This Act may be cited as the Face Coverings Prohibition Act 2018.
(2) This Act comes into effect 30 days after Royal Assent.
(3) This Act extends to Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Notes

Face coverings pose a security threat. Just as someone wearing a balaclava is deemed a security threat, other face coverings are security threats as well, as the identity of a dangerous criminal or terrorist is hidden. If you aren’t allowed to wear a motorcycle helmet in a bank for security reasons, the same standard should apply to other face coverings as well.

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LibertarianMP
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I will be voting aye. Although I'd raise the first fine higher.

Can't put a price on national security
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g131999
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I'm not too sure on this one. On one hand I hate the Burka and everything it represents. On the other, I believe that everyone has the right to dress how they want without government interference. If it starts here, where will it end? It should definitely be the case in public places such as airports where one covering one's face is a massive security threat (and also requires additional staff to identify the women wearing the Burka). I'm not too sure how where I stand as I respect everyone's right to religious freedom - even if it is the disgusting 'religion of peace'. Burkas look absolutely ridiculous and should be mocked. However, I believe that the penalties are too strong.
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username2337287
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Wearing any form of face garment is an issue of debate regarding the context of a public place. It is a matter of state security and the protection of the majority which should be prioritized rather than the "non-obligatory wishes" of the few. With the increased threat of violence, it is therefore pertinent that the perpetrator does not deceptively use any form of facial disguise, even including religious garments on the streets, at banks, at courts or in public areas; facial identities must be recognized; otherwise, criminals can exploit this. Subjectively, we cannot assume that the wearer is with religious intent, although as a nation we should respect the individual liberty of religious freedom; however, there are limits and boundaries. Other European countries including France, Switzerland, and Belgium have already decided to ban the veil; if these respectable nations with political liberty have implemented these restrictions to full veils; then why cannot the United Kingdom- The decisions were made by intellectual bodies, not through racist intent. To add emphasis, Britain needs increased surveillance during these perilous times of increased aggression, the criminals can simply be lurking underneath the face veil without us knowing... Banning any form of face veil will circumvent this issue, without the police being labelled as a racist organisation by attempting to reveal the identity of an individual. The question is raised, would it be acceptable for an individual to wear a balaclava at a bank? Would customers and citizens be comfortable? Face veils are not obligatory, it is a matter of choice, without a ban one can argue that wearing a balaclava in public is also part of their cultural identity. Therefore, as part of my political responsibility, I shall be voting Aye.
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Life_peer
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You can't even get the numbering right but I agree with the sentiment so aye.
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CatusStarbright
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Nay.

I'm going to assume this legislation is targeted at the burqa as has other legislation from abroad, therefore my arguments will be based on this assumption.

The idea that this poses a security risk is completely wrong. The usual metal detectors etc are sufficient to determine that there are no metallic objects on the person covering their face (wearing the burqa) and of course female officials can always have a look at the woman's face without the woman in question breaching the religious rules they are adhering to.

A further argument in favour of the so-called 'burqa ban' is that of protecting women's freedom of choice. This is again a completely ridiculous argument as this is based on the idea that women are forced to wear the burqa and therefore are not being given the freedom to choose whether to wear it or not. This falls down in two places. One, the majority of women wear it through choice and some even wear it despite their husbands being against it. Two, even in the cases of forced wearing this does not restore the women's freedom of choice. It merely means that instead of their family members making the choice whether to wear it or not for them, it is the state making that choice.

Finally, it is argued abroad that this is an extension of secularism. Here we do not have a secular state and I don't believe we need one to protect citizen's right to freedom of religion. I think we, as a nation, are perfectly capable of upholding freedom of religion through allowing freedom of religious expression where it does not interfere with their work (for example, for hygiene reasons) or for other practical reasons. If people wish to wear the burqa/cover their face in public then why the heck not? Live and let live.
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username1751857
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Nay.

Who deems a balaclava as a security threat?
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Connor27
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No,

Freedom of expression, enough said.
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Bluestar511
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Aye, face coverings such as niqabs and burqas are used to oppress women's liberty and should not be used in the UK.
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CountBrandenburg
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No plain and simple. Whilst I’d prefer for people to not have face coverings in public, I don’t think we should be enacting such legislation and we shouldn’t follow the European way
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Baron of Sealand
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Can I wear a face mask if I find the air to be polluted or if I'm ill or others are ill?
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Rakas21
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If restricted to religious clothing then it would be something i would strongly support however in its current form this is far too vague.

Nay.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by CoffeeGeek)
Nay.

Who deems a balaclava as a security threat?
Is this a serious question... once again Conservatives are demonstrating they are anything but
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username1751857
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
Is this a serious question... once again Conservatives are demonstrating they are anything but
Yes it is and no one has answered it. I’m asking it for a reason you know, so instead of thinking of ways to insult people perhaps focus your thoughts on the question and answer it. We might actually get somewhere and debate, you know, like we’re supposed to...

Just because you see a balaclava as a security threat doesn’t mean it is for others. I’m interested in seeing if it is such a big security threat that justifies restrictions in personal freedoms. Because at the moment, I don’t think restricting the use of face coverings is well-justified.
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Unown Uzer
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(Original post by g131999)
I'm not too sure on this one. On one hand I hate the Burka and everything it represents. On the other, I believe that everyone has the right to dress how they want without government interference. If it starts here, where will it end? It should definitely be the case in public places such as airports where one covering one's face is a massive security threat (and also requires additional staff to identify the women wearing the Burka). I'm not too sure how where I stand as I respect everyone's right to religious freedom - even if it is the disgusting 'religion of peace'. Burkas look absolutely ridiculous and should be mocked. However, I believe that the penalties are too strong.
I understand your concern as a Libertarian about wishing to allow people to choose how they wish to dress, however, even libertarians believe that people should not be given unlimited rights, if such rights violate the 'harm principle'. Allowing face coverings hinder the ability of law enforcement to identify those who have committed a crime by CCTV. For example, if there is a shoplifter, police can identify the suspect via CCTV footage, but if the thief wears a face covering, his or her identity remains hidden, and that can make the difference between whether a criminal gets away with their crime. Such criminals may use burqas or niqabs to look less suspicious. After all, their intentions would be very obvious if they wore a balaclava. This is why a face coverings ban needs to apply to burqas and niqabs as well.
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Unown Uzer
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(Original post by CoffeeGeek)
Nay.

Who deems a balaclava as a security threat?
Banks, airports, shops, and many other buildings. The police or security guards would be quick to stop someone in a balaclava, but a criminal or terrorist in a burqa can go by unnoticed, which can hinder the ability of police to stop crime or identify suspects.
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Unown Uzer
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(Original post by The Champion.m4a)
Can I wear a face mask if I find the air to be polluted or if I'm ill or others are ill?
Yes
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Unown Uzer
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
Is this a serious question... once again Conservatives are demonstrating they are anything but
I'm glad you have changed from your stance in 2015.
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username1751857
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(Original post by Unown Uzer)
Banks, airports, shops, and many other buildings. The police or security guards would be quick to stop someone in a balaclava, but a criminal or terrorist in a burqa can go by unnoticed, which can hinder the ability of police to stop crime or identify suspects.
But those are places where you need to reveal your identity and where if you cover your face people will be suspecting you're going to commit a crime. Therefore it makes sense those places deem it a "security threat" but outside a bank, airport and shop there's no security risk so why do people need to remove their burqa, balaclava or other materials that cover their face?
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username1751857
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I also think 'extreme weather conditions' is quite ambiguous - could be a normal cold winter day and someone decides to wear a balaclava cycling because the weather is quite extreme for them and they get fined because the police doesn't see it as extreme in the same way they do.
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