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Syria vote - MPs Sarah Newton, George Eustice and Andrew George explain their motives

By WBMiles  |  Posted: September 03, 2013

MPs from the West Briton area explain their reasons behind Syria vote.

Comments (6)

Conservative MPs from the West Briton area voted in favour of military action in Syria “in principle” in a historic parliamentary debate.

But Prime Minister David Cameron failed to garner enough support and suffered a humiliating defeat.

Helston MP Andrew George was among those who voted against his Lib Dem party leadership and against military intervention.

Camborne and Redruth MP George Eustice (Con) said: “The proposed intervention in Syria did not compare with Iraq where Tony Blair sent tens of thousands of troops to depose a regime, occupy a country and then attempt to build a democracy from scratch.

“The mission in Syria would have had one clear and modest objective: to prevent the use of chemical weapons and it would not have involved the commitment of troops on the ground. Parliament should have supported it."

Mr Cameron broke off his holiday in Cornwall to recall parliament to discuss a possible military strike in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria.

Truro and Falmouth MP Sarah Newton (Con) said: “‘Like everyone else I was horrified to see the footage of the chemical weapons attacks that took place in Syria last month.

“I feel strongly that we cannot stand by and let such attacks, which are against international law, take place again.

“Last week I voted for our Government to respond to the calls for help from countries in the region, using the UN process to send a strong message to the Syrian regime that they should not use chemical weapons, that there are consequences if they do.”

The Prime Minister lost by 13 votes as MPS appeared to be haunted by the UK’s experience in Iraq.

Mr George, Lib Dem MP for West Cornwall, said he voted against military intervention as it could escalate the already desperate situation in Syria.

He said: “No matter what I may think about the appalling Assad regime and the almost certainty that they have used chemical weapons to kill hundreds and injure thousands of their own people is not sufficient to persuade me that the UK should engage in or support military strikes in Syria.

“Yes, bomb them with diplomacy, inspectors, humanitarian aid, shelter and support, but recent history should now have taught us that military engagement merely changes the problem, it doesn’t resolve it.”

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  • NormaStitz  |  September 04 2013, 8:30AM

    So.... not content with betraying her electors over gay marriage, Mrs Newton now wants to send us to war on the basis of little more than rumours in a conflict where there are no British interests at stake. She was fortunate at the last election that her main opponent in Truro was transparently awful and many, like me, voted Newton mainly because she wasn't the appalling Teverson who was endorsed by the retiring waste of space Matthew Taylor. At the next election, though, she won't have a Teverson to put her in Parliament where her chief 'national' role appears to be bag-carrier-in-chief to the (unelected) 'Baroness' Warsi. I, and a lot of others who won't forget her duplicity, betrayal and neglect of her constituents, are a growing 'anyone but Newton' vote.

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  • Doitdreckley  |  September 03 2013, 9:01PM

    Eustice and Newton need to learn to do as they are told by the electorate that put them there. Tony Blair thought he knew better than public opinion and (indeed) the truth when we went to war with Iraq in 2003. Besides the 100,000 dead and the spread of fanatical terrorism, the other result of that war was greatly diminished trust in politicians and the security services. Also, the British Armed Forces were weakened and massive financial resources were spent. Now, I thought that Newton and Eustice believed that there was a deficit that needs to be paid for by an attack on the public sector, welfare state and the vulnerable: so how can we afford another war? Chemical and biological weapons use is a red line but there is a diplomatic process to be gone though before an attack becomes something to be considered. The objective would need to be clear and achieveable and not by default stoke future terror. Newton, Eustice and their ilk were putting the cart before the horse.

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  • josdave  |  September 03 2013, 4:06PM

    Andy have you forgotten when we were being bombed by the IRA and others and who offered to help? Nobody that's who. Who is doing anything to stop Israel taking land that doesn't belong to them? Nobody. Who offered to do anything about the atrocities committed by Mugabe? It is a civil war and as many of the rebels have Al Qaeda sympathies I for one would not support them.

    |   10
  • AndyTheRoo  |  September 03 2013, 3:44PM

    Let us hope that we never find ourselves asking for help from outside when we are being gassed and bombed by our own government. I expect other countries will just turn their backs on us.

    |   -9
  • DipStick  |  September 03 2013, 3:31PM

    """ ..to send a strong message to the Syrian regime that they should not use chemical weapons ..."" Sorry to have to mention this to my MP but, Sarah love, there is no proof one way or the other at the moment. And, as I read somewhere earlier, if Assad was responsible for gassing his own people why is his "punishment" to lob a few bombs in and kill some more of his own people ...? Answers on a post card please .... And notice the "humanitarian" clips on the news since the government lost the vote? A "but it's for the children" tug at the heart strings, all to soften us up in the hope we'll change our minds about military action. No mention of the fact that a lot of the country is under "rebel" control and many atrocities are being attributed to them. But that doesn't fit the narrative that the powers that be want us to see and believe. DS

    |   12
  • josdave  |  September 03 2013, 3:20PM

    The situation in Syria is deplorable but it is a civil war and one we should not go poking our noses in as it will only make matters worse. As for reliance on US intelligence on who used chemical weapons as yet there is no proof and look at the nuclear weapons they did not find in Iraq until after they dragged us into the war. It's no good commenting on the images coming out of Syria it will be made worse by military intervention and if the US fires missiles into Syria and they fire back the UN will back Syria and where will the mighty USA be then?

    |   9