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Dear list members, FYI. Best andreas A N U Assyrian News Watch * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Assyrian Chaldean Syriac --------------------------------------------------- The Sotsman Thu 25 Jul 2002 The Prime Minister did not diminish speculation that he would not seek Commons' approval for a military strike against Iraq. Commons to have no say on Iraq Fraser Nelson Westminster Editor TONY Blair yesterday made it clear he will not seek the Commonsí permission before agreeing to join the US in any attack on Iraq. In the last Prime Ministerís Question Time before the summer recess, Mr Blair said MPs would be "consulted" - but indicated that this will happen after the decision is taken. His words left several Labour MPs concerned that Britain will already be in a state of war when they return in October. The Prime Minister was asked a barrage of questions about Iraq yesterday from back-benchers - three at the morning meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party and then three in the Commons. The issue, he said, is premature, adding: "We have not got to the stage of military action. If we do get to that stage at any point in time we will, of course, make sure that parliament is properly consulted." When Tam Dalyell, the Father of the House, asked whether such consultation would happen before or after an attack, Mr Blair replied: "When the decision is made, we will consider the best way to consult the House - in the normal way and in the normal circumstances." Later, Mr Blairís official spokesman was asked whether this confirmed that the decision will precede any consultation. He replied: "The Prime Minister ís words speak for themselves." He added, however, that Mr Blairís tongue had slipped when he said "when a decision is made", rather than "if". Mr Dalyell said afterwards that the Commons had broken up in no doubt about Mr Blairís intentions. He said: "It is wrong that this country should, in cold blood rather than as a reaction to some event, commit itself to using military force without a very clear debate." He denied that such a debate would give Iraq a clear warning about Britainí s intention. "Theyíve been talking about attacking Iraq for months." Mr Blair is under no constitutional obligation to ask the approval of either parliament or the Queen to take Britain into an armed conflict. Political assent in the US was secured under President Clinton, who signed an order committing the country to toppling Saddam Hussein. No member of the United Nations can declare war formally, or attack another nation. Under the UN Charter, only its Security Council can authorise the use of force. Diane Abbot, one of Labourís main opponents of war on Iraq, yesterday asked Mr Blair whether he agreed with Dr Rowan Williams, the new Archbishop of Canterbury, that "it would be wrong to go to war with Iraq without a fresh and distinct United Nations mandate". Mr Blair appeared to agree, saying any move on Iraq would be "legally justified". He added: "We will make sure that, if we get to the point of action, it is." _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk