Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 8th July 2003.

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Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw Foreign Secretary 11:30 am, 8th July 2003

Yes, I do accept that. The key question for everybody, not least those who, for reasons that I understand, opposed the war, is to ask what condition that region and international peace and security would now be in if, in the face of that defiance of the will of the United Nations, we and the US had walked away. I shall tell hon. Members what the position would be. Saddam Hussein would have been re-empowered and re-emboldened. He would have increased the terror in his country and acted with even greater thoroughness to increase his chemical and biological capabilities and develop his nuclear capabilities. He would have continued to disrupt any chance of an effective peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, and increased the threat that he posed to international peace and security. That is the truth and I look forward to newspapers debating that rather than their extraordinary obsession with 45 minutes.