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International Situation (Contingency Planning)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:33 pm on 19th March 2003.

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Photo of Rt Hon Jack McConnell Rt Hon Jack McConnell Labour 2:33 pm, 19th March 2003

The point that I was making was that I certainly do not want to be in a situation where the British Government questions the legal advice that I receive as First Minister from my law officers, so I am not about to start questioning the advice that the British Government receives.

On the first question, the responsibility for emergency planning in our Executive lies with the Deputy First Minister, which is why he, and not the minister with responsibility for local government, is a member of the group.

On the second question, which was reasonable and sensible, there will be people across Scotland who are uncomfortable about the fact that this country is going to war, who are against that decision or who have chosen to support it based on the available evidence. However, all those people will want to do whatever they can to help to rebuild society in Iraq after the conflict. I am absolutely certain that any advice that we could give and any practical support that we could offer, either on water or in any other way, would be enthusiastically welcomed by the British Government as part of the efforts that it announced yesterday.