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Mr. Simon Thomas (Ceredigion) (PC): As the Prime Minister set out tackling climate change as one of his key international objectives for next year in the G8 and in the EU presidency, can he say what progress was made at the summit on that subject? In particular, can he take the opportunity to defend the reputation of his chief scientific adviser, Sir David King, against the attacks on him last week by the adviser to President Bush on climate change?

The Prime Minister: I am not sure that the person who made the attacks is an adviser to President Bush, still less a member of the US Administration, but obviously I entirely agree with David King's position on climate change. He is absolutely right. We did not discuss it at the European Council, but the European Union would be broadly supportive of that position. It is important that we try to begin a dialogue with the US, very much based on science and technology, as to how to deal with greenhouse gas emissions in the years to come. I hope that we can take forward that agenda.

Mrs. Alice Mahon (Halifax) (Lab): If, after another brutal bombardment of Falluja, the Sunni Muslims refuse to participate in the elections, what strategy will the ever decreasing coalition employ to bring democracy and security to Iraq? Will it be bomb a city a month until all that is left in Iraq is rubble and hatred?

The Prime Minister: No, the strategy is very clear: it is to say that, instead of the government of Iraq and Iraqi towns being decided by terrorists who plant car bombs, kill innocent people and kill contractors who are trying to make the country better, there should be a democratic process in which people stand for election both locally and nationally and get elected on the basis of the ballot box. I cannot understand why people cannot agree with that.

In respect of the figure of 100,000 that has been bandied about as the number of people who have died in Iraq over the past period, I saw today, looking at the figures in greater detail, that the figure is extrapolated from the recorded deaths of 61 people. When one sees that, one can understand how much propaganda is coming through on the issue.

Mr. Peter Lilley (Hitchin and Harpenden) (Con): Does the Prime Minister accept that what he has signed up to on immigration is a ratchet mechanism for the
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one-way transfer of power on making immigration policy away from this country to the supranational authorities in Europe? Can he confirm that, whenever the Government opt in, as he puts it, to immigration measures taken under that procedure, if circumstances subsequently change, or the European Court interprets those measures in ways that we do not anticipate, we will be unable to amend them, or to withdraw from them?

The Prime Minister: The simple position is that we are entitled to decide whether we opt in to any of these measures. That is the pick and choose Europe, if you like, that I thought the right hon. Gentleman and others supported. It is precisely what we are able to do. Indeed, it is more than that: if at the end of the process we decide not to opt in when the measure is first discussed, after that discussion, we can also decide to opt in.

Of course, once we opt in, we are part of that process. [Hon. Members: "Ah!"] But it is our complete choice as to whether to opt in; we might as well say that about any measure in Europe. I thought that the whole point was that the Conservative party wanted a situation in which, when measures were discussed, we had the decision whether to opt in or not. This gives us that decision. Obviously, once we opt in, that is presumably because we have decided that it is in our interests to do so. Only the Conservative party could say that a decision whether to opt in is somehow a negation of our sovereignty; surely it is the expression of it.

Mr. Eric Joyce (Falkirk, West) (Lab): Does my right hon. Friend agree that the best way for people in Scotland, and across the United Kingdom, to show their support for the Black Watch Regiment is by recognising its ability to carry out the task in hand, and the historical importance of that task?

The Prime Minister: My hon. Friend, who I believe was actually a member of the Black Watch Regiment—

Mr. Joyce indicated assent.

The Prime Minister: My hon. Friend speaks with a particular authority, and I hope that people will listen to what he said. I am sure that, as someone who used to serve with the Black Watch, his words will command the attention and support of everyone.

Mr. David Heathcoat-Amory (Wells) (Con): On immigration and asylum, can the Prime Minister confirm the figure extracted from the Home Office in July showing that the United Kingdom has recently agreed to participate in 26 separate measures in that field, including measures defining unauthorised entry, transit and residence, visas, asylum, and the qualification and status of non-EU nationals in seeking entry to this country? Will he confirm that that figure is correct? If it is, does that not show a clear transfer of decision making and authority from this House to the EU, to be decided by majority voting, even if the Government disagree with the eventual decision by that procedure?

The Prime Minister: We decide our own asylum policy here. The Opposition can make many criticisms of the asylum and immigration policy, but the one sure thing
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is that it has been decided here. However, with some measures we will want to opt in—for example, those to do with illegal immigration, for which it is important that we get European co-operation. Surely the best thing is for it to be the decision of the Government whether to take part. If we decide to take part, we do take part—presumably because we think that that is in our interest. If we decide not to take part, we do not have to take part. It is beyond me why that does not command the support of the Conservative party.

Harry Cohen (Leyton and Wanstead) (Lab): In the discussions with Dr. Allawi—who, according to the last poll that I saw, represented about 3 per cent. of Iraqi public opinion—was it maintained that the assault on Falluja was being done for the United Nations, as the Prime Minister maintained to my hon. Friend the Member for Halifax (Mrs. Mahon) last week? How can that be so, when the Secretary-General of the United Nations has urged that it should not be undertaken, and said that it would make legitimate elections in Iraq in January less possible?

The Prime Minister: Surely, in the end, as for the decision whether Dr. Allawi commands support in Iraq—all the polling evidence that I have seen shows that he enjoys considerable support there—my hon. Friend may be right, or I may be right. Put it to the test. Let there be elections in Iraq in January, and let the terrorists and insurgents lay down their weapons so that those elections can take place. I would have thought that the best message—even from people such as my hon. Friend, who, for reasons that I entirely respect, was against the war in Iraq—would be to say, "Whatever we thought about the conflict in Iraq, lay down your weapons, let the United Nations-sponsored elections take place, and then let's see who has the support in Iraq."

Mr. John Bercow (Buckingham) (Con): It seems that there was no summit discussion of the worsening crisis in Burma. Given that the military junta there is guilty of savage violations of human rights every day, including using rape as a weapon of war, forced labour, compulsory relocation, use of child soldiers, use of human minesweepers, bestial destruction of villages and the incarceration of 1,400 political prisoners, does the right hon. Gentleman agree that it is essential that the European Union should adopt not token measures in the form of action against the pineapple juice sector in that country but a robust programme of targeted sanctions against the oil, gas and telecommunications sector, so that we can bring the regime to heel and offer the people of Burma the prospect of the freedom and justice that we have long enjoyed, and they have too long been denied?

The Prime Minister: The hon. Gentleman makes a very powerful case. It is important that the European Union adopt stronger action, but to be frank, at the moment it is not possible to get that agreement in Europe. I understand that the matter was discussed at the General Affairs Council, but there is another and bigger issue: how the United Nations changes its charter and its rules, so that the way in which a country treats its own people can be a proper and fitting subject of
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international discussion. It is not only a question of Burma; there are many other countries in which people live in a state of deep repression, and it is only because of the absence of television cameras that no one notices or protests about it.

Mr. George Foulkes (Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley) (Lab/Co-op): On the middle east, the Palestinian Cabinet Minister Saeb Erekat said to me that the most useful help being given to the Palestinian Authority by any European Government is the British Government's training of the security forces, and he asked me to pass on his thanks. He also said that the Prime Minister, who has the trust of the Palestinian Authority and of the Israeli Government, is in a unique position to take an initiative to revive the middle east peace process. Will he take up that challenge?

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