Here is Prime Minister Tony Blair in the House of Commons this afternoon, after a few more ministers quit, and before the vote tonight. Very good, very strong, very impressive. I refuse to believe that hell lose the vote.
"I believe we must hold firm."
"Who will celebrate and who will weep if we take our troops back from the Gulf now?"
"If we do act, we should do so with a clear conscience and a strong heart. Our fault has not been impatience. The truth is that our patience should have been exhausted weeks and months and even years ago."
And he said that to retreat now, he believed, "would put at hazard all that we hold dearest ... tell our allies that at the very moment of action, at the very moment they need our determination, that Britain faltered. I will not be party to such a cause."
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