Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Chaos in Europe over Iraq Crisis

27th March 2003

The European Parliament has failed today to reach any kind of agreement on the Iraq crisis.

Fortunately, a resolution condemning the military action in Iraq was rejected, following opposition led by British Conservatives.

Commenting on the debate, Geoffrey Van Orden MEP, Conservative Spokesman on Defence and Security in the European Parliament, said:

"Thankfully, the Left failed in its bid to undermine the actions of our troops in the Gulf. At this time of conflict we should be uniting behind allied forces fighting in Iraq - not trying to undermine morale. What a disgrace it is that there are so many apologists for Saddam Hussein in the European Parliament. Listening to them, I now understand the concept of the 'Big Lie'.

This is a conflict which could have been avoided had the international community spoken with genuine resolve and made it clear to Saddam that it was united in its determination to disarm his regime with all speed. But certain countries with selfish concerns prevented this from occurring.

We must now begin to look beyond the conflict, not just to the reconstruction of Iraq, but to the revitalisation of the transatlantic Alliance with solid foundations and credible capabilities to face the very real threats that confront us, without the distraction of a French-driven EU Defence Policy."

Charles Tannock MEP, Conservative Spokesman on Foreign Affairs in the European Parliament, said:

"The people of Europe have spoken through the European Parliament. It is clear that Europe is divided across party and nationality. The European Parliament has once again blown the concept of a Common Foreign and Security Policy out of the water."