The argument for intervening in Syria is … not strong enough

I have maintained an open mind. I have listened very carefully to the case that the prime minister has made for military action, I have listened to colleagues in parliament, sought independent advice and expertise, and considered the 50 or so representations made by people from Ilford North, my constituency. The question for me is whether extending airstrikes into Syria is both in our national interest and in the interest of innocent civilians in Syria.

We need a comprehensive strategy to bring about an end to the Syrian civil war and defeat Isis. For me, this must include:

• A successful diplomatic effort to secure a stable and orderly transition from a President Assad-led Syrian government to a national government that includes the religious, ethnic and political diversity of the Syrian population. Russian influence here will be critical.

• A coordinated humanitarian response to the devastation and displacement affecting the Syrian people.

• A major programme of reconstruction to help the Syrians rebuild their country.

• A military response to defeat Isis, with ground forces drawn from the region (not the US or UK) with the international community providing relevant support – including from the air.

I do not think the case for urgent and immediate UK military involvement in airstrikes, ahead of the conclusion of the diplomatic efforts to bring an end to the Syrian civil war, has been made.

On this basis, it is very likely that I will vote against military action in a Commons vote..

Source: The argument for intervening in Syria is strong – but not strong enough | Wes Streeting | Comment is free | The Guardian

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