Last Thursday I voted against the Government’s motion to support the principle of intervening in the situation in Syria. Despite both the Government and Opposition effectively supporting the idea of action even without UN approval, Parliament rejected such an intervention.
I have full sympathy for the situation in which ordinary Syrian civilians have found themselves, and the use of chemical weapons is an outrage, but I did this because I cannot see any advantage to the Syrian people, or indeed to people here in Britain, in any military intervention. The Syrian situation is a brutal civil war and it is not apparent that Western nations launching air strikes will help bring about an end to the violence – indeed there’s a real risk of escalating it.
We need to learn the lessons of the mistakes in Iraq (and Afghanistan) and not get embroiled in another bitter war in the Middle East, particularly where we’ve no plan for what the end might look like or how it might be an improvement.