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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

On Mr McLetchie's second point, I sincerely hope that, at some point in the near future, the Fire Brigades Union will accept the generous offer that has been made to its members and the commitment that has been given to modernising the fire service in partnership with those who work in the service. I hope that those factors will lead to a successful and speedy resolution to the dispute, which would free up the troops who have been on standby for a long time.

On the first point, clearly, I hope that the country, the Scottish Parliament and the Westminster Parliament resolve that, having debated, voted and made our decisions, we should all, in a situation in which military conflict is taking place in Iraq, support our troops in the job that they have to do, which is to disarm Saddam Hussein of weapons of mass destruction and to free and liberate the people of Iraq, ensuring that they have a better society in the years to come.