Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown Excerpts
Monday 13th January 2020

(8 months, 2 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
Dominic Raab Portrait Dominic Raab - Hansard
13 Jan 2020, 3:48 p.m.

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his support for our diplomatic efforts. I was in Washington last week and had various conversations with the National Security Adviser and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Notwithstanding that we do not agree with the US on maximum pressure, for example, the US has always been clear that there is a diplomatic way forward and that the door remains open. President Trump has said that, President Macron has said it, and the Prime Minister has said it. Again, the choice is for Iran to make.

I understand the hon. Gentleman’s point about the visa. I understand that it was not refused but, in any event, it is important throughout the process to ensure that we keep open the opportunity for dialogue and a diplomatic path forward to a negotiated solution.

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown Portrait Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (The Cotswolds) (Con) - Hansard
13 Jan 2020, 3:48 p.m.

Does my right hon. Friend agree that this moment marks the beginning of an opportunity, if Iran wishes to take it, for Iran to co-operate with the international community on the downing of the Ukraine International Airlines aircraft? Several nationalities were involved, including, unfortunately, a number of Britons and, indeed, many more Iranians. Will my right hon. Friend therefore tell the House precisely what discussions have been had about a proper international investigation into the downing of the aircraft, including the handing over of the flight recorders to proper international investigators?

Dominic Raab Portrait Dominic Raab - Hansard

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. In fact, I was speaking with my Canadian counterpart in Montreal on Thursday. The Canadians suffered an appalling loss of life, and they are leading some work on visas and the repatriation of bodies. We are working together with them, all those affected and, indeed, our wider partners to ensure a credible, full and transparent investigation, because although we understand that Iran has accepted responsibility, we still do not know why the incident happened and all the details of how it happened. For the British victims, the Canadian victims, the Ukrainian victims and, above all, the Iranian victims, we deserve to know the answers to the questions and the truth behind why this appalling avoidable tragedy happened.