Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:30 pm on 10th February 1998.

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Photo of Robin Cook Robin Cook Foreign Secretary 3:30 pm, 10th February 1998

I would have no difficulty in obtaining agreement from all my Foreign Affairs Council counterparts that Saddam Hussein must comply with the UN resolutions. However, I counsel the hon. Gentleman not to go too far down the road of turning this into a European Union issue. We act at the UN not as the President of the European Union but as the representative of Britain. In case of any military action, we act on our own national initiative under UN authority. We would not welcome—as I doubt many Conservative Members would welcome—an explicit European Union involvement in any decision on such military action.

Currently, I am not encouraged to believe that any useful purpose would be served by my visiting Baghdad. Should circumstances change, we can examine the matter then.