Bombing Isil in Syria: What your MP says

A Typhoon F2 fighter jet from 29 Squadron ignites its afterburners whilst taking off from RAF Coningsby.
A Typhoon F2 fighter jet from 29 Squadron ignites its afterburners whilst taking off from RAF Coningsby.
Chancellor Philip Hammond holding his red ministerial box outside 11 Downing Street, London, before heading to the House of Commons to deliver his Budget

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Here’s what Portsmouth MPs say about bombing Isil targets in Syria.

They spoke ahead of tonight’s Commons vote, in which the Government is expected to get the go-ahead for raids.

Fareham MP Suella Fernandes said: ‘It is misleading to compare Syria to Afghanistan and Iraq. In those cases, Britain aimed to overthrow or support governments.

‘We are already bombing Isil in Iraq – it makes no sense not to do so in Syria too. The sending in of ground troops has been ruled out.

‘The threat of Isil terror is here in Britain already and strikes against Isil in Syria are unlikely to make it significantly worse. In any case we should not be frightened off by Islamist extremism. The UK is a founding member of the UN and we are being asked to stand with France in her hour of need.’

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt said: ‘The question MPs need to ask is “will the UK and its citizens be safer if we degrade and destroy Isil?”

‘I believe that will be the case and that other nations will be too.

‘This is not the sole answer to solving the Syria crisis, but it is compatible and complementary to it.

‘As someone who stood on the tarmac of Brize Norton as the coffins of those slaughtered in Tunis were repatriated while their loved ones looked on, I will do everything I can to keep our citizens safe.’

I’ve no doubt this will help.’

East Hampshire MP Damian Hinds said: ‘The UK is part of a coalition committed to dismantle the capability of Isil and British forces have been conducting air strikes over Iraq against Isil targets.

‘Clearly, Isil do not recognise a distinction between Iraq and Syria; to be effective against them, neither should we.

‘A vote for military action is the heaviest decision Parliament can take, but Isil is, right now, a direct threat to Britons’ safety and security.’

Havant MP Alan Mak said: ‘The UN Security Council has authorised all necessary measures to defeat Isil and I support Britain joining our allies like France and America to launch airstrikes against Isil in Syria.

‘Isil terrorists pose a direct threat to Britain and our way of life. Isil’s headquarters is in Syria and we need to tackle them head on.

‘The Paris attacks show what Isil terrorists are capable of,and we must act to end their savagery before it is too late. We need to take action now.’

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage said: ‘Isil pose an imminent and deathly threat to our national security and we must reconsider our current military strategy.

‘However, given our area’s close links to the armed forces and the huge number of local people in the services, involvement in any form of military action is not something I would consider without clear assurances all alternatives have been given careful consideration.

‘Our strategy must look to the future and the long-term removal of Assad.’

Meon Valley MP George Hollingbery said: ‘I firmly believe and support the prime minister’s contention that the level of threat to UK citizens could hardly be higher than it currently is, so to do nothing is not an option.

‘On a practical level, the safe space enjoyed by Daesh in Syria gives it a capacity to plan, finance and organise terrorist atrocities, like those seen in Paris, and that must be degraded. We are already engaged in military operations in Iraq and it would make sense to do so in Syria.’

Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond said: ‘We have already been helping in Iraq and have been successful in providing support for the Iraqi army. They have made it clear that they do not want British ground forces, but our support has pushed back Isil effectively.

‘Our focus is on defeating Isil. We are not intervening to overthrow Assad.

‘We cannot allow Isil to settle and establish their so-called ‘Caliphate’, because this will give them a base from which to raise finance and to organise terror attacks.’