Speech

Transcript of the PM’s interview on Libya

Prime Minister David Cameron a gave an interview on the situation in Libya on Sunday 27 February 2011.

Prime Minister

Three Hercules have gone into the eastern desert area, brought back a number of British nationals but also many, many others and it was a mission that was not without its difficulties. Also today we’ve seen HMS Cumberland pick up more people in Benghazi and it is now heading back towards Malta - again some British citizens but many, many other nationalities as well.

So that is good news, that is good progress and we are now putting serious pressure on this regime. We have introduced today a travel ban, asset freeze and there’ll be further export measures that will be taken as well in the coming hours and all of this, I think, sends a very clear message to this regime. It is time for Col Qadhafi to go and to go now. There is no future for Libya that includes him.

Question

Now earlier the Foreign Secretary told us that you tried to get permission from the Libyans to go in but you didn’t get that permission which makes the mission seem all the more risky. What were you weighing up when you decided to send in a British military plane into Libyan airspace?

Prime Minister

Well, it is risky and it is difficult but I judged that it was the right thing to do because there are British citizens spread out across those oil platforms - particularly in the eastern desert area in Libya. We need to get those people home, we need to do so safely and we can do so helping many other nationalities at the same time. Obviously Libya is a country in complete chaos and so it is difficult to arrange these things, but it was the right thing to do and I pay tribute to the very brave pilots and to the Armed Services personnel who managed to help so many British citizens back to safety and I am delighted they’ve been able to do that. That is part of what needs to be done.

The next part is real pressure on this regime, the travel ban, the asset freeze. The measures were taken against the regime to show just how isolated they are a very clear message tonight, that it’s time for Col Qadhafi to go. He should go now and Libya’s future has no future with him at the helm, absolutely none. Thank you.

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