We must be realistic with our predictions for the future and only hindsight will be able to say if I am making the right decision, but right now I can say that in my opinion the right decision is to support the Government's resolution to propose military intervention in Syria. I will vote in support of action tonight.
Airstrikes must be part of a comprehensive diplomatic, humanitarian and political peace strategy for the Middle East, in particular the rebuilding of the Syrian state. But there is no hope of negotiating with Isil. Daesh is a fascist organisation that must be defeated. The longer we leave it the harder it will be. I will be voting in favour of air strikes this evening.
This is not 2003. We must not use past mistakes as an excuse for indifference or inaction. And let's be clear, inaction does not amount to a strategy for our security or for the Syrian people. But inaction is a choice. I believe it's the wrong choice. We face a clear threat. We have listened to our allies. We have taken legal advice. We have a unanimous United Nations Resolution. We have discussed our proposed action extensively at meetings of the National Security Council and Cabinet... I hope that at the end of it all, the House will come together in large numbers for Britain to play its part in defeating these evil extremists and taking the action that is needed now to keep our country safe.
It is with regret that I feel I have no other option but to abstain on this evening's vote... I have thought long and hard before deciding that I have no other choice. The reason is simple, I'm not against airstrikes in principle. In fact as part of an integrated strategy for Syria they are almost certainly a necessary part. But airstrikes are a tactic not a strategy and outside a strategy I fear they will fail.