Situation in the Gulf

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:06 pm on 22nd July 2019.

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Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Chair, Committee on Exiting the European Union 5:06 pm, 22nd July 2019

Back in June, the Government’s view was that naval escorts for ships passing through the Strait of Hormuz would not be appropriate because it would be seen as provocative and escalatory. Therefore, I very much welcome the announcement that the Foreign Secretary has made today in response to Iran’s seizure of the Stena Impero and his announcement of a proposal for a European-led force, which is a reminder to the whole House of the benefits of European co-operation. We have a very good example of another anti-piracy operation in Operation Atalanta, which has been very successful off the east coast of Africa. Will he tell the House how quickly he expects this mission to be established, and will it have sufficient resources to protect all the ships, which we now know are vulnerable, as they pass through the Strait of Hormuz?