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Military Action Overseas: Parliamentary Approval

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:56 pm on 17th April 2018.

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Photo of Jeremy Corbyn Jeremy Corbyn Leader of Her Majesty's Official Opposition, Leader of the Labour Party 12:56 pm, 17th April 2018

I thank my hon. Friend Imran Hussain for his intervention. He is quite right: we have to learn the lessons of the past. The Iraq war is seared on the memory of every Member who was in this House at the time, and on the memories of all those millions of people outside this House who expressed the deepest concern about what was going on.

It is for this House to take matters into its own hands and to take back control—as some might put it. I am clear that, as an absolute minimum, Parliament should have enshrined in law the opportunity to ask the following questions before the Government can order planned military action: is it necessary; is it legal; what will it achieve; and what is the long-term strategy? It is difficult to argue that requiring Governments to answer those questions over matters of life and death would be anything other than a positive step. There is no more serious issue than sending our armed forces to war. It is right that Parliament has the power to support, or to stop, the Government taking planned military action.