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Nick Brown MP Statement on Extending UK Military Action

In today’s vote I will vote against extending military action into Syria.

The present position of supporting the Kurdish and Iraqi forces in Iraq, supplementing their ground forces with our airpower against ISIS is, I think, correct. ISIS is still in Iraq, there is a battle to be fought and won. This should be our primary military focus.

In the event of ISIS being pushed back to the Syrian border there would then be a question as to whether the Iraqi or Kurdish ground forces would want to cross the border or would be encouraged to do so, but we are no where near that yet. In any event we should continue to recognises the territorial integrity of the border

Air support is necessary to sustain the Kurdish and Iraqi forces. Bombing ISIS in Syria degrades their military capability it does not defeat them. This is a different kind of war where ISIS are able to deploy sympathisers in nation states in other parts of the world. For the UK this poses a real threat. It is this danger that should be our first priority for intervention and containment.

As Jeremy Corbyn suggested in his exchange with the Prime Minister in the House of Commons the financing, trading and banking arrangements of ISIS should be interdicted. If as much attention was paid to this aspect as was paid to the regional military issue we might be a lot further forward. ISIS is more than just a territorial construction.

I have reservations about how the Government would make use of Parliamentary consent. The argument about grievance building upon grievance still stands.

Finally, although complex a regional political settlement is the only long term solution to the problems of the region. This is not easy to achieve but we should be at the forefront of endeavours to try.

Nick Brown MP