Mr Peter Hain (Neath) (Lab): I welcome the Foreign Secretary’s commitment that any decision either to arm the opposition or to intervene militarily will be put to the House on a substantive motion, but does he intend that to happen not, as with Libya, after the decision has been activated, but before?

Mr Hague: That is clearly the intention of what I said, although I do not think it right to compare this situation with Libya or ever to give a 100% guarantee. After all, in Libya we acted very urgently to save lives; armoured columns were advancing on Benghazi. We could not have taken that action with France had we had to wait however many hours to call the House together. It is not possible to give 100% guarantees, but
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on a question such as the supply of arms to someone else in world, it is possible to anticipate that and therefore to debate it in advance.