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[casi] Question and Answer on Iraq

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

Below is the Q & A for Andy Love MP.


- - - -

Question to Andy Love MP

Does Andy Love agree that no British troops should be committed to a
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

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
States has been persuaded of the importance of working with the UN and the
international community. It is because of the pressure applied by the United
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
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
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
f)      Continue to support humanitarian efforts to relieve the suffering of
the Iraqi

It is right and sensible that the Government should vigorously pursue the
Nations route while also preparing for the eventuality of conflict, should
that be

In his speech on Tuesday, the Prime Minister stressed the importance of the
Government working with the US to fight international terrorism and also the
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
proportionately, sensibly and in a way that delivers a better prospect of
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
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
inspectors with "unconditional, unrestricted and immediate access".  Whether
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

In Commons Question Time on Wednesday 8th January the Prime Minister

"A UN resolution has been passed that states specifically that Saddam must
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

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,
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
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
their work, but we were not going soft. We had every confidence in Dr Blix
and his
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
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
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
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

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