My hon. Friend the Member for Gedling (Vernon Coaker) has made it clear that there is ample precedent for embedded troops to be withdrawn from specific operations when they are outwith the foreign policy of their country. TheSecretary of State has told the House that he has personally authorised each bombing raid by a British pilot. Does he understand how concerned the public will be about the fact that he seemed prepared to flout the settled will of the British Parliament and, more importantly, the British people?
I do not accept that. The hon. Lady is right in that there have been a handful of instances—and only a handful—in which UK embedded personnel have been withdrawn from an operation that was not in accordance with UK law or UK policy, but in this case we fully support the action that the United States is taking, because it is legitimate and in our interest.