Mr Redwood’s intervention during the Statement on the Middle East Peace Process/Syria and Iran, 8 October

Mr John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): Would the Foreign Secretary like to praise Parliament for recommending diplomacy rather than war as the best means of tackling the difficult matter of chemical weapons in Syria? That policy seems to be working rather well. Does he agree that Parliament’s influence extended to the United States of America, where the President called our debate in aid as the reason for his change of approach towards consulting Congress and going for peace?

The Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs (Mr William Hague): It has always been my habit to praise Parliament, even when I disagree with it, and I will continue to do so. I praise our Parliament and democracy all over the world, and I even hold up such instances as examples of our vibrant democracy. I hope, however, that my right hon. Friend will bear in mind that such progress on chemical weapons—we hope it is progress, provided it is maintained—could not have been made without the credible possibility and threat of military action. We particularly have to thank the United States for that in this connection.