Speech: Foreign Secretary’s remarks on the use of a nerve agent in Salisbury: 13 March 2018

#1
The first thing is to get over to our friends and partners exactly what has happened, and that’s what we’ve been doing today. As the Prime Minister explained yesterday, this is a brazen attempt to murder people – innocent people – on UK soil. The policeman is still in hospital.

It’s overwhelmingly likely, or highly likely that the Russian state was involved. And the use of this nerve agent would represent the first use of nerve agents on the continent of Europe since the Second World War.

Clearly what we’re doing today is giving Russia until midnight tonight to explain how it came to be that Novichok was used on the streets of Wiltshire. If they can come up with a convincing explanation then obviously we will want to see full disclosure of that to the Organisations for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague.

If not, then clearly we will want to be announcing the UK response, and that would come tomorrow. In the meantime, what we’ve been doing is talking to friends and partners, explaining what we see as the high likelihood of Russian State agency.

I’ve been very encouraged so far by the strength of the support that we are getting. I think in particular from President Macron of France, Sigmar Gabriel, my German counterpart, and from Washington, where Rex Tillerson last night made it very clear that he sees this as part of a pack of increasingly disruptive behaviour by Russia – the reckless use of chemical weapons that stretches from Syria to the streets of Salisbury. I’ve been encouraged by the willingness of our friends to show support and solidarity.

It’s important that we wait until the deadline has passed. You’ve got to do this correctly. We’ve given the Russians until midnight to explain how the Novichok could have come to be on the streets of Britain. We cannot exclude that they have an explanation and we will want a full disclosure to the chemical weapons watchdog in the Hague. If not, there is a package of measures that we would use.

It is very important that people understand the gravity of what has happened and the outrage that the British government feels about the use of nerve agents, use of chemical weapons, against innocent members of the public, against an innocent police officer, on UK soil. We will make sure that our response is, as I told the House last week, commensurate but robust.


Read the Prime Minster’s statement to the House of Commons.

Continue reading...
 
#3
Washington, where Rex Tillerson last night made it very clear that he sees this as part of a pack of increasingly disruptive behaviour by Russia – the reckless use of chemical weapons that stretches from Syria to the streets of Salisbury
Well, ain't much he gonna do 'bout it now he been fired. Apart from that I must admit to being particularly underwhelmed by the amateurish use of alliteration - "Syria...streets...Salisbury"...who writes this stuff? And do they really think it's working?
 
#5
I take it a strongly worded letter is on its way to Moscow, telling them how miffed we are and how if they do something like that again, we will be really put out.
 
#9
I take it a strongly worded letter is on its way to Moscow, telling them how miffed we are and how if they do something like that again, we will be really put out.
And should it happen again, expect an even more strongly worded letter, by God, that will show 'em!
 
#11
I suspect you may be in for an interesting summer.
Thought you'd be working with Wiltshire Police (on a consultancy basis of course). They will be largely unfamiliar with the world of nerve agents, double agents and hostile acts on our sovereign soil and would appreciate any expert advice and insight you can give them.
 
#12
I suspect you may be in for an interesting summer.
They wouldn't dare! 800 plus an additional 4 wild things... sorry, cool for catz, sorry, wild cats. Who would dare attack such a force of Britains finest?

@jim30 will tell you that the Russian navy are just rust buckets; fire missiles at another country? Fake news!

I believe Jim, Jim'll fix it!
 
#13
I see the deadline passed and we are still at miffed...I take it the Ruskie ambassador will be requested to attend No 10, but will not be allowed biscuits as he has been very naughty.
 

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