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Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:22 pm on 26th February 2003.

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Photo of Patsy Calton Patsy Calton Liberal Democrat, Cheadle 5:22 pm, 26th February 2003

The Prime Minister's position last July when he first talked of supporting President Bush in regime change in Iraq was followed by an apparent failure to recognise the growing public disquiet at what is effectively a headlong rush to a pre-emptive strike on Iraq. The world does not feel a safer place than it did last July.

I am disgusted—I know that my constituents are, too—by the propagandist manoeuvrings to which we as a people and as a Parliament have been subject. It does not matter how often the Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for Defence and the Foreign Secretary mouth the words "weapons of mass destruction", "anthrax" and "VX"; so far, none has been found and no intent to use them has been displayed.

Yesterday, I asked the House of Commons Library for a briefing note. While the Prime Minister continues to speak of weapons of mass destruction, it is important that we examine the scientific evidence for the likelihood of their being there. The Library says that

"it is impossible to completely prevent the deterioration of chemicals regardless of the environmental and storage precautions taken."