Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:31 am on 31st January 2013.

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Photo of Paul Flynn Paul Flynn Labour, Newport West 10:31 am, 31st January 2013

On 10 January, the Foreign Secretary gave me what he described as a “broad assurance” that there would be a vote in the House on the deployment of soldiers abroad, following the precedent of 2003. The Leader of the House rested his refusal to allow that on the narrow point that we are not in conflict in Mali. We have up to 400 troops there; many of them are armed, and if they are attacked, they will use those arms. That sounds very much like conflict to me.

I agree with my hon. Friend Ms Eagle. Given that the country is now weary and wary of avoidable wars, is it not important for us to debate the issue, so that the House can establish what precisely is the terrorist threat to Britain from Tuareg nationalists?