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Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:50 pm on 26th February 2003.

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Photo of Julian Lewis Julian Lewis Shadow Minister (Defence) 4:50 pm, 26th February 2003

I am not aware that the United States is breaking any such convention. I should be very happy to hear specifics from the hon. Gentleman.

What I can say is that it is wholly inappropriate and irresponsible to take a legal, permitted ability of countries that have signed the BW convention, which is to carry out research on small amounts of deadly weapons in order to develop antidotes, and compare it with what Saddam Hussein has done, which is to produce huge quantities of such weapons, use them, lie about them and, even when forced to admit that he had them all along, fail to account properly for what he did with them.

I am surprised by some of the remarks that are made by people who profess to support resolution 1441. In a debate like this I would have expected resolution 1441 to be quoted time and again. I do not think that it has been quoted at all, so I shall briefly quote it now. The resolution decides that Iraq

"has been and remains in material breach of its obligations under relevant resolutions" and provides the

"final opportunity to comply"— not the pre-final, not the pre-pre-final, not the opportunity before the opportunity before the opportunity before the opportunity that might one day, in 12 years' time, be the final opportunity, but the

"final opportunity to comply".