John Baron MP urges the Foreign Secretary to be cautious on Syria

October 13, 2016

MP raises Brexit and Syria in Foreign Affairs Session

Today the Foreign Secretary, Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, gave evidence on ‘developments in UK foreign policy’ to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee. John Baron MP has been a member of the Committee since 2010.

During the session, John asked,

“Despite the talk from alarmists and ‘Remoaners’, our negotiations should be quite simple, in that the British people have spoken, we will be leaving the EU, and we will control our borders whilst obtaining the best possible trade deal. The EU might insist on linking immigration with trade, but we have called that ‘baloney’ – whilst I accept a running commentary often leads to bad outcomes, does the Foreign Secretary disagree with his fellow Secretary of State for Exiting the EU when he said relying on WTO rules holds no fear?”

The Foreign Secretary said that the Government was set on getting the best deal possible with the European Union, and that other EU countries had an interest in a mutually-acceptable deal. He stated that talented people would always be welcome in the UK, and that ‘Freedom of Movement’ is not as rigid as some maintain. On the WTO rules, the Foreign Secretary said that he was not going to give a running commentary, but that he regarded Brexit as a positive thing both for the UK and the EU alike.

John later asked,

“May I urge caution when considering calls to get more involved militarily in Syria? Be careful what you wish for. This is a multi-layered conflict involving Shi’a and Sunni, Iran and Saudi Arabia, Russia and the West, together with jihadists, islamists and extremists. You should recognise that those of us who are cautious will if necessary strongly make the case that we should not repeat the errors of Iraq, Helmand and Libya.”

The Foreign Secretary wholly agreed that we need to be cautious in our approach and learn from past errors. He acknowledged that the recent debate was one-sided in urging greater action, but he respected the views of those in Parliament who would express caution should greater force be considered.

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