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Iraq

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:54 pm on 26th February 2003.

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Photo of Michael Moore Michael Moore Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) 1:54 pm, 26th February 2003

I am sorry, but I have given way numerous times and I intend to continue.

At this point, the weapons inspectors are still in Iraq and are still saying that they have a worthwhile job to do. In response to the draft resolution tabled by the British and American Governments, the French have offered an alternative, supported by Germany and Russia. It talks about needing a clear programme of action, reinforced inspections and timelines for inspection and assessment. The Foreign Secretary drew attention to the contrast between Iraq and South Africa, but surely one of the key differences is that, in South Africa, the very points that the French memorandum sets out—a clear programme and timelines for inspection—were contained in the inspection regime. We must not dismiss that out of hand, as the Government appear to have done.

If we are to proceed to war, we must be a lot clearer about what the objectives might be. There is currently an enormous lack of clarity. It is not clear whether war would be only for disarmament purposes or for regime change. The Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary have both referred to regime change in previous contributions. Those mixed messages do not instil confidence in the international community—