Armed Conflict (Parliamentary Approval)

Part of Opposition Day — [11th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 6:59 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 6:59 pm, 15th May 2007

We should not underestimate the hesitation that any political party would feel about bringing forward a proposal to change the war strategy or, in effect, to admit defeat and go home. I guess that that is why the Liberal Democrats have not done so, although that is a matter for them. I am not against my hon. Friend's proposal, which is interesting.

That brings me to the more general point that we should not have any illusion that procedural mechanisms will enable us to deal with all the practical problems that arise and all the moral and ethical challenges that we face in these situations. In the case of Iraq, unlike all the previous controversies, we have had not one, not two, but three votes, which effectively decided that Parliament was in favour of going to war as necessary. [ Interruption . ] Mr. Ellwood, who says "No", was not here. My hon. Friend the Member for Hackney, North and Stoke Newington, who was against the war, confirmed that she saw all three of those votes as leading very clearly in that direction, as I did.