Armed Conflict (Parliamentary Approval)

Part of Opposition Day — [11th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 3:46 pm on 15th May 2007.

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Photo of William Hague William Hague Shadow Secretary of State (Foreign Affairs) 3:46 pm, 15th May 2007

My right hon. and learned Friend is introducing a particular instance into the general argument; I had, conveniently, been pursuing my argument without raising particular instances. However, he raises a legitimate question: if Parliament has the right to hold votes of the kind that we are discussing, how often should the issue be revisited, and in what circumstances would another vote be required? I do not think that it is possible to lay down hard and fast rules about that. It is important to stress that both our motion and the Government amendment call on the Government to produce proposals after consultation—consultation with Opposition parties, I hope—and it is very difficult to lay down rules that cover every eventuality. My right hon. and learned Friend has made his point about the situation in Iraq, but I do not necessarily draw a simple conclusion from it.