A LEADING North Yorkshire businessman today urged Britain to fight for a share of the spoils of war, following a military victory in Iraq.

Iain Dale warned of the dangers of the Americans "hogging" the economic benefits of post-war reconstruction work.

He claimed that Kuwait after the Gulf War had been Britain's "biggest lost opportunity".

Mr Dale, of Low Marishes, near Malton, former chairman of Filey-based Dale Electric International plc, is the Government's Ambassador for British Business.

He insisted he was not speaking in that role when he appealed for British business people to prepare for a post-war economic clash with the U.S.

He said it was his personal view that British business should not ignore the opportunities which would open up with a successful invasion, but would have to earn its share through price, delivery and quality.

Mr Dale's comments came as U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell prepared today to present a dossier of evidence against Iraq to the UN Security Council.

Mr Powell was expected to claim that, while he does not have proof that Iraq possesses nuclear, chemical or biological weapons, secret recordings of Iraqi officials proved they had been deceiving UN inspectors.

But Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein has claimed he has no weapons of mass destruction or links with al Qaida, in an interview with veteran Labour politician Tony Benn, who is speaking at the University of York tomorrow afternoon.

Mr Dale claimed that Americans had hogged the markets after the conflicts in Kosovo and Kuwait.

"Rebuilding there was carried out almost exclusively by the Americans and we didn't get a look in," he said.

"That was ten years ago and this time we must really fight for some share of the aftermath."

U.S. economic dominance in war zones was achieved through regular weekly trade missions flying in 50 U.S. businessmen.

"Their approach to the market is, by British standards, over the top but very effective."

Before Mr Dale sold his family business to the TT Group in 1996, Dale Electric had benefited throughout the 1980s when the Government had encouraged aid and exports to Iraq, where it had an office. The generator set business twice earned the Queens Award for Exports.

Mr Dale has been made an OBE and a CBE for services to exports.

Son Of Star Wars gets the go-ahead THE Government was today giving the go-ahead to RAF Fylingdales' involvement in Son of Star Wars - only weeks after launching a public consultation exercise.

Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon was making a ministerial statement, confirming that the U.S. Government had been given permission to upgrade the radar base on the North York Moors, to enable it to be used in the American missile defence project.

The work is set to start at the end of this year and be completed by 2005.

The proposals, which critics fear will make Fylingdales a key enemy target, were put out to consultation in December.

Updated: 11:45 Wednesday, February 05, 2003