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Dear list, I posted late last year about a meeting MPWatch was having for Q & A with Andy Love and Malcolm Haper. Francis said over 60 people joined and it was a success! Below is the Q & A for Andy Love MP. Anai - - - - Question to Andy Love MP Does Andy Love agree that no British troops should be committed to a conflict with Iraq until - * receipt of a full and considered report from the UN inspectors by the Security Council * an opportunity has been given to the House of Commons to vote on the question of peace or war arising from the report * there has been a new Security Council resolution authorizing military action Answer From Andy Love The prospect of a conflict with Iraq is of grave concern to us all. The Government is rightly going down the United Nations route, and it is significant that the United States has been persuaded of the importance of working with the UN and the wider international community. It is because of the pressure applied by the United Nations, and the tough, unanimous stand of the Security Council's position, that it has been possible for weapons' inspectors to return to Iraq. This week has seen key speeches, from the Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw and from the Prime Minister, on the international situation. On 7th January, Jack Straw set out the key priorities for the Government, which are to: a) Support the work of the UNMOVIC/IAEA inspectors in Iraq b) Enable UNMOVIC/IAEA to institute long-term measures to ensure compliance as part of their Ongoing Monitoring and Verification regime c) Maintain international solidarity behind the UN Security Council and support for effective UNMOVIC/IAEA action; d) Preserve regional stability e) Continue to make military plans and preparations in case military action is required to enforce compliance with Iraq with its WMD/BM obligations under UNSCRs; f) Continue to support humanitarian efforts to relieve the suffering of the Iraqi People It is right and sensible that the Government should vigorously pursue the United Nations route while also preparing for the eventuality of conflict, should that be necessary. In his speech on Tuesday, the Prime Minister stressed the importance of the British Government working with the US to fight international terrorism and also the US working with the international community. "So when the US confronts these issues, we should be with them; and we should, in return, expect these issues to be confronted with the international community, proportionately, sensibly and in a way that delivers a better prospect of long-term peace, security and justice." In a statement to the Commons on 7th January, Defence Secretary, Geoff Hoon, confirmed that the inspection team will formally report to the UN Security Council on 27th January. The Council will then consider their findings. UN Security Council Resolution 1441 is strongly worded and confirms that Iraq will face "serious consequences" if it fails to comply with UN resolutions and does not provide the inspectors with "unconditional, unrestricted and immediate access". Whether the Security Council's response is in the form of a resolution or not, it is vital for the credibility of the United Nations that should Iraq be found to be in breach of this resolution then appropriate sanctions, including force should follow. What is crucial here is the resolve of the international community to enforce UNSC resolutions. In Commons Question Time on Wednesday 8th January the Prime Minister confirmed: "A UN resolution has been passed that states specifically that Saddam must disarm himself of weapons of mass destruction. If there is a breach of that resolution, we will support military action to make sure that the will of the UN is enforced." Significantly, on 9th January the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman indicated that 27th January was not necessarily the final date by which a final decision would be made. Clearly there is still room for manoeuvre and for a peaceful outcome. Asked if the UK would be happy to put in place another deadline after 27th January, the PMOS pointed out that: ".. it was not a deadline. We had always maintained that it was a point in time at which Dr Blix and his team would provide feedback on their work in Iraq. This had been set out in Resolution 1441. As Colin Powell had said in today's Washington Post, it was time to take stock of the situation. However, it was not necessarily a D-day for decision-making. The inspectors would need time and space to carry out their work, but we were not going soft. We had every confidence in Dr Blix and his team." The Government has been conscious of the need to bring this matter before parliament throughout the events leading up the present position. In Commons Question Time on 18th December the Prime Minister was asked, in the event of a decision to deploy troops over the Christmas recess, whether he would recall parliament. He confirmed that: In respect of any substantive vote, we have made it clear that it would be our intention to do so, although that is, of course, subject to the proviso that the Foreign Secretary set out: nothing must be done that would endanger or imperil our troops should we need to act quickly The Government has to reserve the right to act quickly, but the clear preference is for parliament to be consulted before any action is taken. ~ Anai Rhoads - - - - Y E S _________________________________________________________________ The new MSN 8 is here: Try it free* for 2 months http://join.msn.com/?page=dept/dialup _______________________________________________ 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