Armed Conflict (Parliamentary Approval)

Part of Opposition Day — [11th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 6:25 pm on 15th May 2007.

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Photo of Nick Palmer Nick Palmer PPS (Malcolm Wicks, Minister of State), Department of Trade and Industry 6:25 pm, 15th May 2007

Does my hon. Friend agree that there is a genuine difficulty? We have discussed the problems with having a vote very late in the process, but if we have a vote very early in the process a lot of MPs will feel that it is rather premature and that it might inflame the situation. There could be a delicate diplomatic situation and the Prime Minister of the day could have to go to Parliament and say, "Give me a mandate to go to war," when there might still be a chance of peace. Does he agree that there is a genuine objective difficulty that makes it difficult to lay down in statute exactly when the vote should take place?