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Yesterday's vote on Syria

Yesterday, Parliament debated extending military strikes into Syria. I voted against the Government’s motion to do so, but it was passed last night

Yesterday, Parliament debated extending military strikes into Syria. I voted against the Government’s motion to do so, but it was passed last night.

The House was presented with a false choice. The Prime Minister wants us to believe that the choice is between taking the inadequate action proposed by the Government and taking no action.

Airstrikes can create a temporary opportunity for territorial gain, but in default of a competent ground force, that opportunity is squandered—and at what cost? The population of Raqqa who are subjugated under Daesh will not be allowed into the tunnels. They will not be whisked out of the city in armoured jeeps with Daesh commanders. They will remain in the city and wait for British bombs. All military action comes with the risk that innocent lives will be lost; I understand that. Sometimes that risk must be accepted, but only when the military and diplomatic strategy that is put forward is coherent and comprehensive and has a reasonable chance of achieving its objective. The Government’s motion does not.

I want to eradicate Daesh. We should respond - of course we should, but we should not respond by doing just anything. We should respond by doing something that is effective - and what the Government has proposed is not.

You can watch my contribution to yesterday’s debate (from 18.35) here or you can read it here (at 6:35) 

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