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Ms Candy Atherton (Falmouth and Camborne): I thank my right hon. Friend for his efforts to secure objective 1 status for Cornwall. May I ask him to convey the thanks of the county to the Minister for the Regions, Regeneration and Planning, who has been tireless in his commitment to Cornwall? Does my right hon. Friend have a message to convey to the people of Cornwall as we look forward to a new economic era?

The Prime Minister: I pay tribute to my hon. Friend, whose efforts have been more tireless than anyone's--as I have been able to testify every time I have met her in the past year or so. She has worked extremely hard to bring this about, and has urged on us the importance of objective 1 status for Cornwall. We negotiated hard for that because, although Cornwall has many tremendous advantages, it has real problems of economic restructuring. Objective 1 status will help it enormously. It provides the basis for a secure and good future for Cornwall, which did not exist before.

Mr. Tony Baldry (Banbury): The Prime Minister should realise that, until the common agricultural policy is fundamentally reformed, enlarging the Community will create severe financial difficulties both for those countries wanting to join the Union and for those that arealready members. I acknowledge the Prime Minister's disappointment that more progress was not made on reform of the CAP, but when does he expect that process to get back on track?

The Prime Minister: I do not disagree with the hon. Gentleman--we would have preferred reform to go further, but we agreed greater reform of agricultural

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policy than has been agreed by anyone else in the past two decades. It is worth pointing out that there will be a real decrease in the later years of the next financing period, and that will be the first-ever real reduction in CAP spending. We believe that that is a sufficient basis for enlargement. I should like to have gone further, not least because the European Union must face up to the fact that, when the WTO negotiations get under way, we shall be obliged to make greater reforms in common agricultural policy, so it is a good idea to prepare for that now. None the less, let us not ignore the real progress that has been made.

Mr. Jeremy Corbyn (Islington, North): Will the Prime Minister say a little more about his contacts with the Russian Government and the Russian Prime Minister to bring about a peace process and a ceasefire in Kosovo to stop the tide of refugees and the pogroms against the people there, and to stop the bombing? What contact does he propose to have with the United Nations? What has been Kofi Annan's involvement? Does he think that this is a matter for the United Nations, which should be brought on board, rather than for NATO, which is undertaking actions without UN approval?

The Prime Minister: As my hon. Friend will know, the Russian resolution at the Security Council was defeated by 12 to three. Kofi Annan has said that there are times when diplomacy no longer works. Our contacts with Russia have been perfectly amicable and close. The Russians disagree with the action that has been taken, but let us not forget that they participated in the Rambouillet peace talks and agreed with the outcome. They disagreed with Milosevic's refusal to sign up to the deal. It is true that the Russians do not agree with the NATO bombing campaign, but, as we constantly say, we have tried every diplomatic and political avenue and Milosevic will not agree. That is why, respectfully, we have to disagree with the Russians on the validity of our campaign.

Sir Peter Tapsell (Louth and Horncastle): Does the Prime Minister realise how tragically apt it was for him to go to Berlin to explain the reasons why he is the leading European advocate of an historically ignorant, politically inept, internationally illegal and half-botched policy that is already threatening to increase and extend the carnage in the Balkans? Is he determined to prove himself as stupid as the Kaiser?

The Prime Minister: Without replying to the insults, let me pick out one point on which the hon. Gentleman and I may agree. He referred to the carnage in Kosovo. The people who are responsible for that carnage are Milosevic and his henchmen. The hon. Gentleman's response is to do precisely nothing, to sit back and say, "Get on with it." That is not the responsible thing to do.

Mr. Gerald Kaufman (Manchester, Gorton): On the carnage in Kosovo, given the fact that not a single word issued by the Yugoslav media can be believed, while we have a freedom of the press in this country of which we are rightly proud, has my right hon. Friend heardfrom any of the armchair strategists, deploying their high-powered word processors from well behind the

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front line, whether they believe that the Kosovo people should be helped; whether, if they do, they have a better way of helping them than that being employed by the Government; whether they support our armed forces as they risk their lives in action; and whether they want us to win or to lose?

The Prime Minister: As ever, my right hon. Friend makes his point extremely well. Those who say that we should not be involved should listen to what ordinary Kosovar Albanian people and their representatives say. They are the ones who are living through this appalling situation, and they know that the alternative to NATO action is simply that it continues without the rest of the world lifting a finger.

Mr. Martin Bell (Tatton): As one who was in Kosovo the week before last, may I ask the Prime Minister to explain how the objectives that he rightly wants to achieve can be achieved by air power alone; and how, by the dispatch of more Harriers, we can stop Kosovar Albanians being murdered in barns and teachers being lined up on school playing fields and shot in front of their pupils? Surely we will have to commit ground troops at some time, or, if the political will is not there, let us admit that, and hang our heads and walk away in shame.

The Prime Minister: On ground troops, I refer the hon. Gentleman to what I said in response to the right hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Ashdown). The targets that we are selecting are ones that affect Milosevic's military capability and, specifically, ones related to the Kosovo repression. The NATO action will continue to intensify. Anyone who believed that, after years and years of build-up, the action could end in a few days, was always suffering from a delusion and was always headed for disappointment, but I have no doubt at all that we will succeed in our objective. We should have total resolve to see it through, all the way.

Mr. Tam Dalyell (Linlithgow): Is Mrs. Ljubica Erickson, the wife of a distinguished Edinburgh university military historian and adviser to the Ministry of Defence, right when she says that there has been terrible collateral damage in the villages around Belgrade and that the trauma among old people, women and children has become appalling? If the Prime Minister were in the position of a Serbian soldier in Kosovo, knowing what was happening back at home and hearing that NATO intended to intensify the bombing, would there not be a danger that he might behave like an animal? What is the end object of all this? Until the bombing stops, is there any chance of involving the one people who can resolve the problem--the Russians?

The Prime Minister: In the end, people must face the consequences of the difficult choices that are being made, as we must in choosing to start the campaign. Our targets are military, and I caution against believing anything or anyone who is basing information on what is being said by the Serbian Government-run media.

Serbian soldiers had been carrying out brutality and atrocity for a long time before the bombing, and their attitude cannot be the determinant of how we run this. If they want to stop the NATO bombs, they can do so in one very simple way and that is by starting to treat people

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in Kosovo like civilised human beings, instead of subjecting them to ethnic cleansing, which is what the Serbians have been doing.

People say that we have to find a political solution and ask why we cannot involve Russia more, but we have been trying for months--more than months--to find a political solution and Russia has been intimately involved in all those attempts. The truth is that no political solution is possible at the moment because Milosevic is determined to rid Kosovo of Kosovar Albanians, and he will do so by killing them if necessary. That is the truth. The choice, therefore, is let him do it, or try to stop him, and the latter is what we are doing.

Sir Archie Hamilton (Epsom and Ewell): When the Prime Minister supported Mr. Prodi for the presidency of the European Commission, did he take into account the accusations of fraud and other criminal activity levelled at Mr. Prodi when he ran the Italian state holding company, IRI?

The Prime Minister: Anyone who knows Romano Prodi knows him to be someone of the highest integrity. It does not surprise me in the least that the Conservative party should wish to begin with the new President of the European Commission by attacking and vilifying him.

Mr. Chris Mullin (Sunderland, South): Has the Prime Minister seen reports that the Serbs are rounding up Albanian civilians and holding them in military installations in Kosovo? Will he bear that in mind when selecting which targets to attack?

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