Highlights, not verbatim.
After offering sympathy and support to the people of Japan David Cameron moved on to the situation in Libya. Most interestingly he focused on the case for a No Fly Zone. He said that NATO had made feasibility preparations for a Zone, should one be advanced, since he last addressed the Commons on the subject.
The Prime Minister reiterated the three conditions for an NFZ: (1) Demonstrable need; (2) Regional demand and support and (3) Legality. On (2) he stressed the “very significant” call from the Arab League for a Zone.
Mr Cameron said that allowing Gaddafi to prevail would send a “dreadful signal” to all people striving for liberty in the Middle East and wider world.
He said to those who said Britain has no interest in Libya that if we do not act Europe could end up with a failed state on its southern border – exporting a variety of challenges.
Responding to Ed Miliband on Sir Malcolm Rifkind’s call (in today’s Times (£))* for the Libyan rebels to be armed, Mr Cameron said that he ruled nothing out but would do nothing that was illegal.
Noone, he said, was talking about western “boots on the ground”.
Mr Cameron concluded his statement by saying that Britain would continue to be at the forefront of international efforts to stand with the Libyan people and against Gaddafi’s attempts to crush them.
* Mark Pritchard MP’s earlier article on the subject: The Libyan people should not be left defenceless in pursuit of freedom