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May I first welcome the comments of my friend Mr McFadden and my right hon. Friend the Minister? This has been a very difficult moment for British diplomacy, and it is worth thinking about why that is so.
This is a direct challenge to a sovereign nation and its ability to nominate its own representative. If sovereignty does not allow a nation to choose its own representative, frankly, what is it but servitude? That is why Britain must stand up for our envoys. If we do not think that they are up to it, we must replace them, but we must not be bullied into seeing them kicked out or silenced. May I therefore ask my right hon. Friend to assure me, and everyone in this House, that Her Majesty’s Government will always stand up for those we send abroad, military or civilian, and back them as necessary, in the interests of the British people and no one else?