Brent North MP, Barry Gardiner, had the following exchange with the Prime Minister in the House of Commons on Friday:
Barry Gardiner (Brent North, Labour)
I welcome the UN resolution, but I oppose Britain's military involvement in implementing it. The UN resolution is not to secure a no-fly zone for humanitarian protection, but an extraordinary authorisation of regime change. Unless the Prime Minister believes that Libya's Arab and African neighbours lack the capacity or the compassion for their Libyan brothers and sisters to act independently, why does he insist on putting British military personnel at risk?
David Cameron (Prime Minister; Witney, Conservative)
Obviously I respect the hon. Gentleman's view, but it seems to me that if we will the end, we should also will the means to that end. We should never overestimate Britain's size or capabilities, but neither should we underestimate them. We have one of the finest armed services in the world. We are one of the world's leading military powers, and we also have huge strength in diplomacy, soft power and development. We should not play a disproportionate part, but I think that we should play a proportionate part alongside allies such as France, America and the Arab world. To say that we should pass such a resolution but then just stand back and hope that someone, somewhere in the Arab world will bring it about is profoundly wrong.