Platform: MPs Warn Government on Iraq Oil Meddling
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
SEPTEMBER 6, 2007
Greg Muttitt, Co-Director PLATFORM and expert on Iraqi oil policy 07970 589 611
Katy Clark MP for Ayrshire North and Arran 020 7219 4113 or 01505 684 127
MPs Warn Government on Iraq Oil Meddling
LONDON - September 6 - Over 100 MPs have called on the British government to come clean over
its involvement in the drafting of Iraq's controversial new Oil Law. The
call for disclosure comes as Iraqi MPs return from their summer recess
to debate the law this week.
The Law would transfer control over most of Iraq's oil from the public
sector, where it has been since the 1970s, to multinational companies
such as BP and Shell, under long-term contracts.
In an Early Day Motion tabled by Katy Clark MP , the cross-party
group of 118 MPs insisted 'that decisions on the Iraqi oil industry
should be made by the Iraqi people without outside interference'.
They expressed 'concern that the British Government, in its involvement
in the drafting of Iraq's new oil laws, has sought the views of
international oil companies regarding the possible types of contracts
that the Iraqi government should offer', and called on the Government to disclose to
the House all representations it has made in relation to the oil law.
Earlier parliamentary questions had forced Ministers to admit the
government had been working on Iraq’s oil law, including consultations
with the oil majors, although they denied any wrongdoing. 
Katy Clark, MP for North Ayrshire and Arran, said:
"118 MPs have signed Early Day Motion 1180 calling for the UK Government
to disclose the representations made in relation to the Iraqi Oil Law.
This represents a significant breadth of opinion right across the House
of Commons. There is widespread opposition to this proposed law from
within Iraq itself from Iraqi MPs, trade unions and the general public.
I hope that the Government will take stock and look at the concerns being
Greg Muttitt, Co-Director of PLATFORM , added:
"Tony Blair's government used its military occupation of Iraq to promote
the interests of BP and Shell, whilst violating the wishes of the Iraqi
people. Now 118 MPs are sending a clear message to Gordon Brown that his
new foreign policy must not do the same".
Public opinion inside Iraq is opposed to the Oil Law and the signing of
long-term contracts, which the British government has pushed. A recent
poll found that two thirds of Iraqis believe oil production should
remain in the public sector, rather than being carried out by foreign companies;
and three quarters felt kept in the dark about the Oil Law. 
For more information
Greg Muttitt, Co-Director PLATFORM and expert on Iraqi oil policy 07970
Katy Clark MP for Ayrshire North and Arran 020 7219 4113 or 01505 684
Notes for Editors
 EDM 1180 Iraqi Oil: Tabled by Katy Clark MP on March 20th 2007
 Kim Howells (Foreign Office Minister of State), in response to
parliamentary question (PQ) by Alan Simpson MP, 19 February 2007:
“Exchanges have included discussion of Iraq’s evolving hydrocarbons
legislation where British international oil companies' have valuable
perspectives to offer based on their experience in other countries.
Discussions with international oil companies on hydrocarbons legislation
have included the range of contract types which Iraq is considering.
Lord Triesman (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Foreign & Commonwealth
Office), in response to PQ by Lord Beaumont, 25 June 2007:
“The current draft law is a result of negotiations between
representatives of all Iraq's main political parties. The UK has during
those negotiations encouraged balanced, technically unambiguous legislation,
acceptable to Iraq's main political parties, which will provide a legal framework to
facilitate much-needed investment in Iraq's oil industry, domestic and
international. Were commercial opportunities to become available after
the passage of the hydrocarbons legislation, we would be keen to promote
UK companies and their expertise in the oil and gas sector”.
tm#07062539000535Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by PLATFORM also
reveal that British diplomats in Baghdad and civil servants in Whitehall
have worked with oil company lobbyists, helping them obtain direct
contact with Iraqi decision-makers.
See PLATFORM's submission to the Iraq Commission
http://www.carbonweb.org/documents/Iraq_commission.pdf PLATFORM is a member of a coalition calling for 'Hands off Iraqi
Oil' along with War on Want, Jubilee Iraq, Iraq Occupation Focus,
Naftana, CorporateWatch, and Voices UK