Friday, March 28, 2008

That this House calls...

House of Commons debates (Crown Copyright Acknowledged)

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Opposition Day — [8th Allotted Day]

Iraq Inquiry

4.30 pm

Mr. William Hague (Richmond, Yorks) (Con):
I beg to move,

That this House calls for an inquiry by an independent committee of privy councillors to review the way in which the responsibilities of Government were discharged in relation to Iraq, and all matters relevant thereto, in the period leading up to military action in that country in March 2003 and its aftermath and to make recommendations on lessons to be drawn for the future.

The passing of the fifth anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq war brings us naturally to consider once again the need for a high-level and wide-ranging inquiry into its origin and conduct. When we last debated the issue on 11 June last year, I think it is fair to say that a consensus emerged across the House that such an inquiry would be necessary at some point. Those of us who voted for the invasion of 2003, just as much as those who voted against it, expressed the view that the length of the conflict, the difficult and controversial nature of the decisions leading up to it, the extreme difficulties encountered afterwards, and the sheer immensity of the decision and of its consequences were all so great that a major inquiry would be unavoidable. The Government accepted that argument in principle, but argued that the appropriate time had not been reached.

The case that I wish to put to the House is that the nation expects, our troops deserve, and the facts lead to a fresh conclusion that the time to commence such an inquiry has now been reached. The passage of time, the urgent need to learn for the future, the need to reinforce the credibility of future decision taking, and the diminished role in Iraq of British forces all point to that clear conclusion...


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