Britain in the World

Part of Fifa – in the House of Commons at 3:48 pm on 1st June 2015.

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Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Shadow Foreign Secretary 3:48 pm, 1st June 2015

I agree with my right hon. Friend that both the EU and the United Nations need to have a plan to deal with that. The UN special representative, Bernardino León, said at the weekend:

“Libya is on the verge of economic and financial collapse”.

He also said that Libya is

“facing a huge security threat” from ISIL. The movement of migrants across the Mediterranean has indeed reached crisis point. As we know, thousands of innocent people have died and hundreds of thousands of others have been put at risk. It is clear that the traffickers are to blame for the conditions in which people make that perilous journey, but it is important that any action taken to deal with that trade is backed by the UN Security Council, has clear rules of engagement and has the consent of the relevant Libyan authorities. The Foreign Secretary will no doubt have seen the comments made over the weekend by the head of the rival Government in Tripoli about defending Libya’s sea and land from any EU operation.

I welcome the negotiations that have been taking place to reach a deal with Iran. After many years in which Iran has chosen to exploit regional tensions by supporting terrorist groups, under its new leadership there is an opportunity for it to play a more positive role. A nuclear-armed Iran would clearly pose a threat to peace in the region and the world, which is why a deal that ensures that Iran’s nuclear programme is purely civilian is so important, but for a deal to be concluded it must encompass all the elements: limits on Iran’s nuclear programme; strong and credible inspection; and assurances about the breakout period.