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Dear Mr Mortimer,
Thank you for your message.
The Scottish National Party is opposed to the ongoing military action in Syria. We believe it is imperative that the UK Government supports a renewed diplomatic effort to resolve his humanitarian crisis. It is also our belief that further air strikes will not achieve the goal of ending this conflict.
Pete Wishart MP
Thank you for contacting
me about ISIL/ Daesh and Syria.
At the second round of talks in Vienna (14th-15th November), the outline of a Syrian peace plan emerged in which President Assad and certain opposition groups would start formal talks on 1st Jan about the formation of a transitional government prior to national elections. This would include a ceasefire, possibly with United Nations peacekeepers as an observer force. One major issue to be resolved is which opposition groups should take part. These groups would not include ISIL/Daesh or Jabhat al-Nusra with which there can clearly be no negotiation.
Getting a Syrian peace process
going will help in the fight against ISIL/Daesh because ISIL/Daesh thrives
in the vacuum of governance and the chaos, fear and violence created
by the Syrian civil war. It is important to note that over 90% of all
civilian deaths in Syria – over 200,000 - are attributable to
forces controlled or loyal to President Assad and half the population
has fled their homes as a result of a civil war for which the ultimate
blame lies wholly with Assad.
Thanks for getting in touch. I understand everything you’re saying, but I can’t share your confidence that doing nothing is categorically a better option. Is the problem we now see in Syria a result of earlier involvement, or of our failure to intervene in recent years? I’m afraid that it’s likely to be a choice where either decision – to intervene or not to intervene – will cause problems. It’s an incredibly difficult balance to strike, for in recent decades we have seen failures in both intervention and non-intervention – there’s no simple judgement. I have some sympathy with the argument that it is illogical for us to attack ISIS in Iraq – as we are already doing and paying for – and yet not to extend it to similar/better targets in Syria.
The context of this debate has changed somewhat. It is clear that ISIS are making advances in exporting terror to other countries. In recent months we have seen attacks in Mali, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, France and Belgium, demonstrating the extra territorial threat they pose. This makes it an issue that can no longer be seen in the context of Syria alone. In the UN we have seen consensus behind redoubling efforts against ISIS and taking “all necessary measures” to prevent and suppress its terrorist acts on territory under its control in Syria and Iraq. Given this situation, I would be interested to know what alternatives you feel are available to us at this stage. I am always willing to listen any suggestions, and I will be following the debate closely in the coming days/weeks.
That said, you are right to point out the dangers with this approach, and for this reason we must make sure we have a proper and thought out plan not only to tackle ISIS but also to have a plan for a better future for both countries. The Prime Minister will set out his approach on Thursday, for me it must include humanitarian and counter terrorism measures in order to justify further military action. It will not be an easy decision, but it is right that this is put to the House of Commons if further action is to be taken.
Thank you for contacting me recently regarding potential UK military involvement in Syria and proposals for a no-bombing zone.
ISIL, or ISIS, are a truly appalling terrorist group and it is clear that they pose an extremely serious and growing threat, both to the people of Iraq and Syria and, as we saw in the dreadful terrorist attack in Tunisia, to British citizens at home and abroad. Indeed, there have been more than 150 ISIL-related attacks around the world this year, and our police and security services have prevented at least six different attacks from taking place here in Britain so far this year.
There is, of course, no easy solution to the threat ISIL pose, and that posed by Bashar al-Assad’s regime, and Britain cannot solve these problems alone. I do not believe, however, that we should turn our back on this threat.
I believe the Prime Minister must now make every effort to agree a broad and comprehensive plan for peace in Syria with our international partners. It will be crucial that any such plan seeks to safeguard civilians, increase humanitarian aid and bring peace to the long-suffering Syrian people.
As you know, there has been speculation recently that the Government will put their plans, which could include military action, forward for a vote in the House of Commons shortly. There is no more important decision a country can take than to commit our armed forces to military action and this is not a decision that I, or any Member of Parliament, would take lightly.
I would consider supporting any measure that has a realistic prospect of deescalating the situation in the region. To this end, I cannot presently envisage circumstances in which I would support further military action in Syria, although I will, of course, carefully consider any proposals that the Government come forward with. It is important that we are clear about the objectives of any action and how they are part of a wider plan for peace.
I can assure you that I will continue to follow this issue extremely closely and bear in mind the points you raise. Thank you once again for writing to me and for sharing your views.
Gavin Shuker MP
Labour and Cooperative MP
for Luton South
Thank you for your email. I appreciate you sharing your views with me about military action in Syria. I had not previously seen that video, but there were some interesting points in it.
Hopefully you will have already seen the article I wrote over the summer on this and related issues. If not, please feel free to have a look as it still broadly reflects my position.
The recent events in Paris were terrible and chilling. And in light of what happened it is only right we re-evaluate our counter-security and our wider response to Daesh (ISIS). On Tuesday, the Prime Minister made a statement in Parliament on this very issue. You can also watch a short clip of the question I asked him in response here. The Foreign Affairs Committee recently produced an important report on some of the key issues surrounding decisions relating to military action. In his statement, David Cameron said he will personally respond to that report.
I and others will be scrutinising this response closely. You can see from my question, that any decision must reflect a clear strategy - it is crucial any changes in policy are not rushed or simply reactive.
Thanks again for getting in touch.
Richard Burden MP
Many thanks for your email in relation to the ongoing situation in Syria.
As you may be aware, when the government brought proposals to the House in 2013 to launch a military campaign in Syria, we voted against, as the Prime Minister was unable to show he had a clear plan and objective that would solve the crisis engulfing the region. Indeed it would have played into the hands of the barbaric IS/ Daesh organisation.
Before we could consider supporting any military intervention, the Prime Minister would have to explain to the nation that there is a clear plan with positive outcomes and the means of delivery.
Please be assured we want to see the greatest possible national consensus on this issue.
Thank you for writing to me about military action in Syria.
At present I am undecided on how I will vote should this issue be brought to the House and will not make a decision until the Prime Minister clearly lays what the objectives would be of military action. I feel it would be wrong to bomb a regime as if we had learnt nothing from all our other regime changes we attempted in the Middle East.
I am against a policy that aims to remove the President of Syria. I will therefore be very interested in the debate and listen to all the evidence very carefully as at this point I feel that I could vote either for or against.
Once again thank you for writing to me. I would suggest that you contact your own MP, Mark Lancaster, if you have any further queries.
The Rt Hon Frank Field MP
Dear Frank Field
Please will you kindly vote against bombing in Syria
Please will you kindly vote against bombing in Syria & can you also tell me if you have seen this video?
Dear Mr Mortimer,
Thank you for your email about Islamist terrorism and the situation in Syria.
ISIS are a terrorist organization the like of which we have not seen before. Their brutality is staggering: beheadings, crucifixions, the use of rape as a weapon and the slaughter of children. All these things belong to the dark ages, but it is not just the brutality; it is backed by billions of dollars and has captured an arsenal of the most modern weapons. As such, I firmly believe that the UK must play its part in destroying these evil extremists and support our Muslim friends around the world as they reclaim their religion.
I share your view that this threat does not respect national borders. ISIL is organised and directed in north-east Syria and is being targeted there by American, French and Australian air forces. During the debate on the UK participating in the coalition against ISIL in September last year, the Prime Minister said he "believed that there is a strong case for us to do more in Syria". I did not agree at that time but the House of Commons appears to be moving towards consensus that something needs to be done. I also welcome the Prime Minister's recognition that there is a need to demonstrate that the UK has a vision and a plan for what Syria should look like going forward.
I do however welcome the UK's role as a leading force in efforts to tackle ISIL in Syria. Our surveillance aircraft are already assisting other countries with their operations over Syria and British forces are helping to train the moderate Syrian opposition. The UK is also working to counter ISIL's finances, restrict the flow of foreign fighters, and provide humanitarian support to those affected by ISIL's brutality. All of this is making a difference on the ground.
It is the case that Islam is a religion observed peacefully and devoutly by over a billion people worldwide. It is Islamist extremism, a political ideology supported by a small minority, which we need to confront, that causes the attacks which we are seeking to address. I regard Islamic extremism as a poisonous ideology, which preys on the populations of countries with weak institutions, political instability and a failure to address long-standing grievances. I do not, however, believe that extremism is an inherent characteristic of the Islamic faith. Extremism can arise within virtually any culture, and it is important to avoid conflating the beliefs of the extremists with those of ordinary Muslims across the globe, the vast majority of whom simply want to get on with their lives in security and peace.
While there is no easy solution to eradicating extremism, I am glad that Ministers have prevented hate preachers from coming to Britain to spread their hateful beliefs. In addition, groups or individuals that condone, or fail to distance themselves from, extremism are prevented from being given a public platform. I am also pleased to see the UK is working hard on a global level. By working with our international partners, we will continue to combat the indiscriminate and deadly threat of Islamic extremists, such as ISIS, so that the ordinary people of Islamic countries can build a better future for themselves.
In the light of the Paris attacks, I am more proud than ever of our nation's stand for democracy, freedom of speech and tolerance. These are not values that make us weak, they are values that make our society, economy and country strong. I believe it is absolutely essential we defend those values every day.
With best wishes
Rt Hon John Whittingdale,
Dear Mr Mortimer,
Thank you for contacting me regarding the situation in Syria.
As you may know, there is no vote upcoming on whether to take further action in Syria, so any discussion of this is only speculative and theoretical.
I share many of the concerns that people expressed about taking military action. I do not wish to see people killed, be they soldiers or civilians, Syrians or Britons, and sincerely hoped military action could be avoided.
However, I also feel that people who commit the worst atrocities should not get off lightly. Sadly, Assad has consistently dodged his obligations on the use of weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons. I do not want 'boots on the ground', but equally, not taking action any action at all would send out a message that such behaviour would be tolerated, and other brutal regimes need to know that indiscriminate murder will result in action.
Thank you for sending me your views. I hope that this is helpful, and if I can be of any further assistance to you on any other subject please do get in touch.
Labour Member of Parliament for Mitcham and Morden
Dear Mr Mortimer,
Begin forwarded message:
Dear Mr Mortimer
Isis must be destroyed.
David T C Davies MP
Member for Monmouth
I did last time and I will listen to the arguments but you must contact your own MP rather than me.
Philip Davies MP
I may certainly unenthusiastic about bombing Syria. But the sort of disgusting leftwing attempt shown in the video you sent to blame these atrocities on anyone but the Islamist fanatics might just persuade me to do so. You surely cannot take this contemptible drivel seriously?
How can I tell you who I
will vote on a particular motion until I have seen the wording of it.
Labour MP Birmingham Edgbaston
Thank you for your email. Last time this issue was brought to Parliament I voted against the Government position, I opposed air strikes in Syria.
I did this after listening to the views of my constituents. I will again invite constituents to contact me again when we are clear about what any proposal will be.
I understand you would be against military action in any circumstances, but I have heard from many constituents in recent weeks that they would particular be in favour of action to provide a safe haven for example or a no fly zone which some MPs are now proposing including the Batley Labour MP Jo Cox.
I cannot give an opinion until I know what the mission is, what the targets are, what comes afterwards etc and many of my constituents will be waiting for these details as well before making up their minds.
Thank you for giving me your views.
Jason McCartney MP
Not worth a response.
Sent from my iPad
Ione Douglas (Mrs)