I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on the the upcoming Parliamentary vote on military action in Syria against ISIL. I appreciate that this is a very serious decision involving strong feelings on both sides of the argument, and I would like to assure you that I have listened to all of my constituents’ concerns and have thought long and hard about what to do.
There are several fundamental questions regarding intervention that I wanted to have answered before I took my final decision. Over the past several days I have had detailed meetings and briefings on the proposed strategy, and each of my questions has been answered to my satisfaction, in particular:
- The vote will be proposing to take military action in the form of air strikes against ISIL in Syria, extending the campaign beyond the current scope of Iraqi airspace, and will make use of UK technologies designed to minimise impact on civilians. The vote is fully in line with the recent United Nations proposal.
- The future of the Assad regime remains subject to political discussions which will involve all the key players in the region. Whilst I agree with the Prime Minister that President Assad should not have a place in Syria’s future, there is no international agreement on this at present.
- The UK will maintain its support in the region for refugees and the provision of humanitarian aid to those displaced by the current violence, and will play a leading role in rebuilding of infrastructure and communities.
I will be attending the debate tomorrow, and will continue to consider all the perspectives that are put to me. It is my current intention to vote in favour of the motion to authorise military action in Syria against ISIL
I realise this will be disappointing to those who remain strongly opposed to taking this step, but I would like to reassure you that this is not a decision that has been taken lightly. Use of military force should always be a last resort, and I genuinely believe that this is in Britain’s national interest and is the right thing to do.