Iraq — Declaration of War — 18 Mar 2003 at 22:00
Jim Cousins MP, Newcastle upon Tyne Central voted against a motion stating the Government should use all means necessary to ensure the disarmament of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. Support for the motion by the majority of MPs led to the UK joining the US invasion of Iraq two days later.
The motion voted through by a majority of MPs agreed that the Government "should use all means necessary to ensure the disarmament of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction".
This resulted in the United Kingdom joining the United States led invasion of Iraq two days later.
A proposed change to this motion saying that This House "believes that the case for war against Iraq has not yet been established" had just been voted down. A number of MPs voted in one and not the other, or voted inconsistently. Earlier in the year, during the build-up to war, there had been three other votes in favour of the Government policy.
The (unusually long - please scroll down for votes) motion itself read:
- This House
- notes its decisions of 25th November 2002 and 26th February 2003 to endorse UN Security Council Resolution 1441;
- recognises that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and long range missiles, and its continuing non-compliance with Security Council Resolutions, pose a threat to international peace and security;
- notes that in the 130 days since Resolution 1441 was adopted Iraq has not co-operated actively, unconditionally and immediately with the weapons inspectors, and has rejected the final opportunity to comply and is in further material breach of its obligations under successive mandatory UN Security Council Resolutions;
- regrets that despite sustained diplomatic effort by Her Majesty's Government it has not proved possible to secure a second Resolution in the UN because one Permanent Member of the Security Council made plain in public its intention to use its veto whatever the circumstances;
- notes the opinion of the Attorney General that, Iraq having failed to comply and Iraq being at the time of Resolution 1441 and continuing to be in material breach, the authority to use force under Resolution 678 has revived and so continues today;
- believes that the United Kingdom must uphold the authority of the United Nations as set out in Resolution 1441 and many Resolutions preceding it, and therefore supports the decision of Her Majesty's Government that the United Kingdom should use all means necessary to ensure the disarmament of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction;
- offers wholehearted support to the men and women of Her Majesty's Armed Forces now on duty in the Middle East;
- in the event of military operations requires that, on an urgent basis, the United Kingdom should seek a new Security Council Resolution that would affirm Iraq's territorial integrity, ensure rapid delivery of humanitarian relief, allow for the earliest possible lifting of UN sanctions, an international reconstruction programme, and the use of all oil revenues for the benefit of the Iraqi people and endorse an appropriate post-conflict administration for Iraq, leading to a representative government which upholds human rights and the rule of law for all Iraqis; and
- also welcomes the imminent publication of the Quartet's roadmap as a significant step to bringing a just and lasting peace settlement between Israelis and Palestinians and for the wider Middle East region, and endorses the role of Her Majesty's Government in actively working for peace between Israel and Palestine.
-  Blair loses third minister over Iraq, BBC News, 18 March 2003
-  2003 invasion of Iraq, Wikipedia
-  Division 117, House of Commons, 18 March 2003
-  Comparison of votes, Division 117 to Division 118, Publicwhip, 18 March 2003
-  Iraq 2003 - Against the invasion, Publicwhip policy
-  Tony Blair, House of Commons, 18 march 2003
-  Division 6, House of Commons, 25 November 2002.
-  Division 97, House of Commons, 26 February 2003
-  United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441, Wikipedia
-  United Nations Security Council Resolution 687, Wikipedia
-  Road map for peace, Wikipedia
Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.
What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.
What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.
What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.
|Party||Majority (Aye)||Minority (No)||Both||Turnout|
|Con||146||2 (+1 tell)||0||91.4%|
|Lab||254 (+2 tell)||84 (+1 tell)||0||83.2%|