FOREIGN AFFAIRS – NO-FLY ZONES & AIRCRAFT CARRIERS – 7 March 2011
Dr Julian Lewis: Do events in Libya and the Middle East carry any lessons at all for the Government, given the talk about possible British participation in no-fly zones and the decision to stand down the carriers and the Harriers that would be essential to carry out any such operation?
[The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr William Hague): It is not true that such facilities are necessary to implement a no-fly zone, because, in the case of Libya, ground bases are available and no nation has used an aircraft carrier for the recent evacuation of their citizens. The United Kingdom still has and will continue to have formidable military assets, including in air power. So we are a part of the contingency planning for what might happen, but it would not be necessary to have an aircraft carrier to execute such a plan.]