Orders of the Day — UN Security Council Resolution 1441

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:21 pm on 25th November 2002.

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Photo of Bernard Jenkin Bernard Jenkin Shadow Secretary of State for Defence 9:21 pm, 25th November 2002

It is perfectly clear from the resolution that that is entirely a matter for the weapons inspection team and Hans Blix. It puts a huge and onerous responsibility on him, and it is incumbent on all of us to give him our absolute trust and backing. He has the trust of Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary-General, the United States and our own Government, and we should trust his judgment.

The Liberal Democrat amendment tempts the House to exercise power over the Government by insisting on a further substantive vote. Again, the House should take comfort from the Foreign Secretary, who assured us of his best efforts in that regard, but we should also bear in mind the difficulties that such a stricture could create. The amendment surely raises much wider constitutional issues than the one that we are debating this evening. It is certainly an important issue, which the House should discuss, but such an innovation should not be introduced in the heat of the moment. I invite the Liberal Democrats to withdraw their amendment.