Dear Bishop Auckland Constituents
Thank you for writing to me about the Syria crisis. I agree with you this is a very important matter. We have not yet seen the government’s motion, so I have not decided.
The questions I need answered are:
- Will we make a difference?
- It is not clear that bombing alone is adequate or that there are enough well-trained troops on the ground to succeed. I am totally opposed to sending in British troops on the ground – so is there a coherent military strategy?
- Have we got a broad political and economic strategy to build peace in Syria? This must include agreement with the Russians; funds for reconstruction; and a coherent plan, not just to bring the different Syrian parties to the table but also to take forward significant steps towards democracy and respect for human rights in Syria.
- Do we have practical arrangements to ensure that we do not inadvertently get into combat with non-ISIL parties (unlike the recent very unfortunate clash between Russia and Turkey)?
- Is there demonstrable evidence that this will make us safer?
- What level of civilian casualties would be likely in Syria?
I will continue to give this very serious consideration.
Thank you again for taking the time to write to me.
Member of Parliament for Bishop Auckland constituency