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[casi] Fw: The Borough MPs and the Debate on Iraq

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From: "Enfield United Nations Association" <>
To: <>
Subject: The Borough MPs and the Debate on Iraq
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2003 20:02:14 -0000
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MessageOur Borough MPs and the Debate in the House of Commons.

As you probably know by now the debate in the House of Commons over war with
Iraq took place last night. Our three Borough MPs voted with the Government
and did not join the rebels who argued that a case had not been made. This
is not too surprising given that Stephen Twigg is a Junior Minister and Joan
Ryan a Government Whip. However Andy Love also voted with the government but
did so after much heart searching and at the last moment. He sent the
following letter to me for the Enfield United Nations Association and I have
replied. Here is both his letter and my reply.

Francis Sealey


>From Andy Love MP

I am writing in response to your enquiry regarding my attitude towards the
disarmament of Iraq and the momentous decision taken by Parliament following
yesterday's debate.

I understand the depth of your feeling on this issue which reflects concerns
amongst my constituents and across the country.  No one wants war.  But for
the past twelve years Iraq has been engaged in a systematic process of
defying international decisions reached by the United Nations.  I set great
store on achieving a second resolution at the UN and at recent weeks it is
generally accepted that the Prime Minister has worked long and hard to
achieve agreement on that resolution. I believe that he could not have been
expected to do anymore.

I understand that the Government were very close to securing such a
resolution - a resolution which would have set out clear tests to reinforce
the obligations of resolution 1441.  A majority existed on the Security
Council until France chose to state that it would veto any second
resolution, 'whatever the circumstances'.

This promise to use the veto stalled the process and made agreement between
the Members of the Security Council almost impossible to reach.

It also diminished the pressure on Saddam Hussein at a critical time.
Effectively France disarmed the United Nations instead of disarming Iraq.
The Attorney General has made it clear that military action would be legal
under international law.  Authority to use force exists from the combined
effects of various US resolutions which have been passed for the express
purpose of restoring international peace and security.

There will be a new UN resolution creating a UN mandate for the
reconstruction of Iraq.  Without it, there would be no legal right to
rebuild any Iraqi institutions.  The UN will now have the authority to
support the people of Iraq with the provision of humanitarian aid, the
reconstruction effort, the organisation of the oil for food programme and
also to lift sanctions which should rapidly improve the condition of the
people of Iraq.

Last Friday an agreement was reached on a Middle East roadmap leading to
Palestinian statehood by 2005.

The failure to implement the Oslo peace accords and establish a Palestinian
state alongside it with Israel safe and secure in internationally recognised
borders is the underlying cause of deep anger and bitterness in the Middle
East and the sense of double standards around the world.  This in my view is
a hugely significant step.  This has been achieved by UK pressure and we
must use all of our influence to secure the implementation of this vision
for the future of the Middle East.

I believe the decision to join a coalition of Governments' resolved to
ensure the disarmament of Iraq's' weapons of mass destruction by all
necessary means is in the interests of peace and security and the interest
of the international order.  It is also in the interests and security of the
British people and I hope that having reflected on the situation and the
contents of this letter that you will agree.

If there is anything further that I can do to assist then please don't
hesitate to contact me.

I look forward to joining you at a future UNA meeting in Enfield.  Please
contact Victoria Silver in my office for a convenient date.

With best wishes

Yours sincerely,

Andy Love MP


>From Francis Sealey

Thank you for the quick reply you sent to us following the vote in the House
of Commons when you went into the lobby in support of the Government. I know
you had to make a very difficult decision and that you were undecided until
the very last moment. We regret that your decision was to vote the way you

In your letter you lay great emphasis on the threatened French veto and I
know that the Government used this argument to augment their case for war.
You and the Government argue that their proposed veto stalled the process in
getting an agreement over a second resolution and thus imply that their
action made war more rather than less likely.

I must point out to you as Robin Cook did in his resignation speech that the
French were not alone in saying that they would oppose the type of
resolution being discussed by the British and American ambassadors. They
were joined by the Russians and the Germans and were also supported by the
Chinese as well. The non permanent members for the most part argued for more
time and like the French did not want any second resolution that had an
automatic trigger for war attached to it. Indeed the French President phoned
our Prime Minister to make it clear that it was the automatic trigger to war
that he objected to rather than any resolution in principle. However the USA
timetable for war made it impossible for that country to accept anything
that did not have an automatic trigger and we were dragged along by the
American impetus. As Robin Cook stated, Washington and not London was
driving this process, and the American intransigence had more to do with the
breakdown than anything the French said or did.

I would urge you and your Government not to take this argument you have
about the French position. It is not only untrue but it is also a classic
example of a Government manufacturing a scapegoat when faced with great
difficulty. What is more it is exceptionally dangerous. It is creating
intense bitterness and destroying the relations between our continental
partners and us.  Good relations are so essential for the peace of Europe in
general. Every effort must be made to heal this rift and I would be pleased
to hear your ideas on how this can be done.

As to the question of reconstruction and the road map to the Middle East
peace process then we will be only too pleased to discuss this further with
you in detail in the coming months. I gather from Stephen Twigg’s office
that all three of you have agreed to meet the “network of concern,” formed
in our Borough, in the House of Commons very shortly. We also have a meeting
with Joan Ryan on April 10th and of course I will contact Victoria in your
office to arrange another meeting with you. We can carry the discussion on

Thanks you again for your letter. As I said we do regret the way you voted
yesterday. We also hope that the British Government can restore good
relations with our European neighbours and do so as a matter of urgency.

We look forward to meeting you and discussing these matters soon.

Best Wishes,
Francis Sealey

(Chairman Enfield United Nations Association.)


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