John Baron MP presses Foreign Secretary on Libya

April 19, 2016

MP asks what lessons have been learnt

Today in the House of Commons, the Foreign Secretary, Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, made a statement on Libya following his recent visit to the country. He relayed the potential for progress in this war-torn country. John was the only Conservative MP to vote against the UK’s involvement in Libya in 2011.

John asked,

“There can be little doubt that our intervention in 2011 made matters much worse, with thousands of casualties courtesy of the civil war, Daesh having established itself, and a state of lawlessness within the country. Given UK foreign policy is approaching a tipping point in its relations with Libya, what lessons have we learnt?”

The Foreign Secretary took issue with John’s description of the 2011 intervention, and said the Government had to deal with the world as it is, not as it would like it. He also stated that the Government was looking to the future and supporting the Libyan people rebuild their country.

John said afterwards,

“The fact the new Government has to take the boat into Tripoli because it can not trust local militias not to shoot down its aircraft reveals all about the present situation in Libya. Meanwhile, Daesh is running amok. The fact the Government can not cite any lessons is worrying for the future.”

“The Foreign Secretary made a distinction between training and combat troops when promising to consult Parliament regarding future deployments. The line can be easily blurred in a fast-moving situation. We shall be holding the Government’s feet close to the fire in monitoring future commitments.”

Word Count: 272
Date: 19th April 2016

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