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Question for Attorney General

UIN 909275, tabled on 13 March 2017

To ask the Attorney General, what the Government's policy is on which factors to take into account when deciding whether responding to an imminent threat is permitted under international law.

Answered on

16 March 2017

It is the long-standing position of successive UK Governments that a state may use force in self-defence not only in response to armed attacks but to prevent an armed attack that is imminent. In each exercise of the use of force in self-defence, the UK asks itself questions such as: how certain is it that an attack will come; how soon do we believe an attack could be; what could be the scale of the attack; could this be our last opportunity to take action; and is there anything else we could credibly do to prevent that attack?

Answered by

Attorney General
Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.