Thank you to those local residents who have contacted me about the UK Government’s response to the chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria, on 7th April.
The images of men, women and young children in the aftermath of the attack were horrific. Whilst nobody wants to escalate the situation, I fully support the Prime Minister’s decision to be part of the co-ordinated airstrikes with France and the U.S.A for the reasons set out below.
These strikes were limited and targeted with clear boundaries. Their purpose was solely to degrade the Syrian Regime’s Chemical Weapons capability and to deter their use, not to intervene in a civil war or secure a regime change. Everything possible was done to prevent civilian casualties. You may be interested to read the letter I have received from the Prime Minister which goes in to further detail about the strikes and the evidence which indicates that this was a chemical weapons attack and that the Syrian Regime is responsible. A copy of this can be found below.
It is also well within the rights of the Prime Minister to decide to participate in these strikes. I am, however, pleased that she gave a statement to the House of Commons to update MPs as soon as Parliament was in session and that, following this, MPs were then able to debate the issue.
The use of chemical weapons cannot go unpunished and has to be responded to robustly wherever it occurs. During the Prime Minister’s statement, I, therefore, pressed the Prime Minister to extend economic action not only against those involved with the production or dissemination of chemical weapons but also to those who are complicit in their use, who turn a blind eye to their use or who veto resolutions on their use or inspections at the United Nations. If you would like to read the Prime Minister’s statement, her response to my intervention and the debate, you can do so here.
As the Prime Minister has rightly said:
“We must reinstate the global consensus that chemical weapons cannot be used…The lesson of history is that when the global rules and standards that keep us safe come under threat – we must take a stand and defend them.”
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