Andrea’s response to the Paris terror attacks

On the evening of 1st October 2005, my family and I got into a taxi after eating dinner in the centre of Kuta, Bali.

Moments later an explosion ripped through the central shopping mall and Raja’s Restaurant.

Two more bombs went off on the Jimbaran beach.

We were lucky that day; we got out just before the bombs exploded.

Across Bali, 20 people were killed.

We all watched in horror at the events which unfolded in Paris on Friday night. Brutal terror attacks on innocent people brought fear and death to the streets of France’s capital.

These attacks are designed to stoke fear and division in the nations they hit and make us scared to go about our everyday lives, for fear of being caught up in attacks such as this.

I reject this fear, this division. I am heartened by the response in London; thousands gathering in Trafalgar Square to stand in solidarity with Paris. Buildings lit up around the world in commemoration, from Sydney to San Francisco to Stockholm.

We will not let our day to day lives be affected by barbaric attacks from a murderous regime that seeks to become a state.

We cannot ignore, however, that these attacks are becoming ever more common. This is the third attack on Paris this year. Attacks in the Lebanon, Tunisia, Belgium and the slow march of IS across the Middle East all pose a major threat.

The world in which we face these threats is changing. The mass movement of people across Europe makes it more difficult for security services in the United Kingdom and in Europe to monitor and spy on those who intend to do us harm.

We need to tighten Europe’s borders and make sure we know who is coming in and out. Britain is right to bring in only those genuinely seeking refuge in camps in the Middle East, both to discourage people from following dangerous routes to Europe and to allow for proper checks on those coming in.

The Prime Minister is right to seek greater border security within the EU if we are to keep people safe from the threat of IS. Across Europe the borders are going back up where they had been broken down by the Schengen Agreement; only time will tell what effect this will have.

Terrorists are communicating in new ways that require more officers and time to monitor. We must reform and face up to the challenges posed by this new environment, and do whatever we must to keep people safe.

We also must award greater powers to the security services to watch, track and stop terrorists who plan to attack. The Prime Minister has announced the hiring of another 2,000 security officers: we must back them up with the provisions in the new Investigatory Powers Bill to stop this sort of tragedy happening again.

We all stand with France. From now, we must fight back and stand for the principles we all believe in.

Liberté, égalité, fraternité.