AHEAD of tonight’s (December 2) vote in the House of Commons whether to sanction RAF airstrikes against ISIS in Syria, Solihull MP Julian Knight has said:
There are few decisions we make in Parliament more important than matters of war. The lives of British servicemen, and many others, are directly on the line, and we weigh the arguments carefully.
Today David Cameron, the Prime Minister, is seeking permission from the House of Commons to extend Britain’s campaign of air strikes from Iraq into Syria. After careful consideration of the evidence I intend to support the Government in this crucial vote, and I want to tell you why.
There are many names for the enemy – you may have heard ISIS, ISIL, or Islamic State. I prefer to use Daesh, the name used by their Arab opponents.
Whichever name you prefer, there is no escaping the truth: that a barbaric death cult is currently in control of a substantial amount of territory, military hardware, and money, and that they pose a direct threat to our own security.
Such a base in the Middle East makes our own, home-grown extremists much more threatening: the terrorists who attacked Paris so recently may have been Europeans, but Daesh’ funding and equipment made them much more dangerous.
The security services also report that there is no evidence that the bombing campaign will make life more dangerous in Britain. We are already a high-priority target for Daesh: disrupting their base in Syria makes it harder for them to attack us here at home.
Nor should we forget that the RAF is already conducting air strikes against Daesh in Iraq, and have played a valuable role in a campaign that has cost their so-called ‘Caliphate’ more than 30 per cent of its territory.
It surely makes no sense that Daesh fighters can simply run across the border into Syria and be safe. This is war, not a game. The terrorists operate on both sides of the line, and so must our efforts to stop them.
Does any of this mean that a diplomatic solution isn’t important? Of course not, and this country remains committed to working with Syria’s neighbours and warring factions to find a peaceful, sustainable future for the reason.
But we can’t negotiate with Daesh. They have no reasonable demands.
The military defeat of Daesh is an essential part of every possible solution. That’s why we should play our part, and why I will vote with the Prime Minister today.