Clause 8 — Desertion

Part of Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 5:00 pm on 22nd May 2006.

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Photo of Siôn Simon Siôn Simon Labour, Birmingham, Erdington 5:00 pm, 22nd May 2006

I do not think that I mentioned the hon. Member for the Western Isles, if I may call him that, in my remarks about Iraq. I mentioned my hon. Friend the Member for Leyton and Wanstead, who it seemed to me spoke about little else than the Iraq war.

It is not possible for this country to engage in an illegal war. Surely it is not practical, reasonable or intelligent to suggest that armed service personnel, on an individual basis, in theatre, should be not only allowed but encouraged to make decisions about whether they are engaged in a legal or an illegal war. That is absurd. Many of my constituents serve in the armed forces and do not have these dilemmas. They are keen, happy and proud to serve. It is not fair to put them in a position where their comrades are encouraged to speculate constantly on whether they should be there, or perhaps, in better conscience, to consider desertion.