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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 18 March, 2003, 19:42 GMT
Commons debate: Key quotes

Some of the key quotes from the Commons debate on Iraq.

"This is a tough choice indeed. But it is also a stark one. To stand British troops down now and turn back or hold firm to the course we have set. I believe passionately that we must hold firm to that course" - Tony Blair

"The only persuasive power to which he responds is 250,000 allied troops on his doorstep." - Mr Blair on Saddam Hussein.

"... the world has to learn the lesson all over again that weakness in the face of a tyrant with a threat is the surest way not to peace, but unfortunately to conflict." - Mr Blair

"Back away from this confrontation now and future conflicts will be infinitely worse and more devastating in their effects." - Mr Blair

"Saddam Hussein has the means, the mentality and the motive to pose a direct threat to our national security." - Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith.

"... the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time against the wrong enemy." - Labour rebel Peter Kilfoyle.

"The action against Iraq is pre-emptive and demands an even higher level of international support and consensus than other types of intervention. We don't have it," - Labour's John Denham who quit as a home office minister in protest at plans for war.

"I have never once been persuaded as to the causal link between the Iraqi regime, al-Qaeda and September 11. I do believe the impact of war under these circumstances is bound to weaken the international coalition against terrorism itself ..." - Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy.

The BBC's Mark Mardell
"Tony Blair made a speech of power and passion"

Iraq crisis hour-by-hour
18 Mar 03 |  Middle East

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