02/12/2015 Wednesday in Parliament


Georgina Pattinson presents highlights of Wednesday 2 December in Parliament.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 02/12/2015. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Hello and welcome to Wednesday in Parliament,


MPs vote to allow air strikes against the terror group


The noes to the left, 223. Sodhi ayes have it -- so, the ayes have


it. At the start of a marathon debate,


the Prime Minister said defeating In action is a choice. I believe it


is the wrong choice. In a day-long debate, the House


of Commons has discussed the government's proposals for carrying


out airstrikes in Syria against The Prime Minister told the House


that the aim of military action was to "keep the British people safe"


from terror attacks. But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn


opposed that stance - although his view was not


representative of every one of his The day began with the


Prime Minister's opening statement. I wish to call the prime Minister.


The question before the House today is how we keep the British people


safe from the threat posed by Isil. Let me be clear, this is not about


whether we want to fight terrorism, it is about how best we do that.


Since November last year, our security forces have foiled no fewer


than seven plots against our people, so the threat is real, and the


question is, do we work with our allies to destroy this threat, and


do we go after these terrorists in their heart lands, or do we sit back


and wait for them to attack us? The Prime Minister took


interventions early on in his speech, when MPs asked him to


apologise for reportedly saying opponents of military action were


terrorist sympathisers. No-one on this side of the House


will make a decision based on any such remarks, nor will we be


threatened into, from doing what we believe is the right thing, whether


those threats come from online activists or indeed from our own


dispatch box. I completely agree with the honourable gentleman.


Everyone in this House should make up their mind on the argument in


this House, and there is honour in voting for and against. We should be


clear what air strikes alone can't achieve. We don't need ground troops


to hit the headquarters of Daesh, their supply routes and training


facilities and weapons suppliers. The Prime Minister defended his


claim there were 70,000 moderate opposition fighters in Syria, saying


it was the estimate of the Joint Intelligence Committee,


the UK's senior intelligence body. I am not arguing, this is a crucial


point, IMF arguing that all of these 70,000 are somehow ideal partners.


Some left the Army because of the brutality of a solid, and they can


play a role in the future of Syria, and that is a view that has been


taken by the Russians as well. This is not 2003. We must not use past


mistakes as an excuse for indifference or inaction. Let's be


clear, in action does not amount to a strategy for our security or for


the people of Syria, but inaction is a choice, and they believe it is the


wrong choice. We have listened to our allies and we have taken legal


advice and we have a United Nations resolution and we have discussed


this extensively at meetings at the Security Council, I have put forward


a report to the select committee, we have a proper motion for this House,


and ahead by the end of it all, the House will come together for large


-- in large numbers to help defeat these extremists and take the action


that is needed now to keep our country safe.


It was the turn of the Labour leader


Since the prime minister first make his case for bombing in Syria last


week,... That is why it is a matter of such concern that a government


has decided to push this vote through Parliament today. The issue


now is whether extending British bombing from Iraq to Syria is likely


to reduce or increase that threat to Britain, and whether it will counter


or spread the terror campaign that is being waged by Isil across the


Middle East. The answers do not make the case for the government motion.


On the contrary, they are a step back. A vote against yet another


ill-fated twist in this never-ending war on terror.


And Mr Corbyn too addressed the issue of ground troops in Syria,


saying the only troops who could take advantage of the bombing


Campaign were jihadist forces. Western boots on the ground, what


ever the prime minister me to say now about keeping British combat


troops out of the way, are a real possibility.


He finished by calling for increased efforts for a


To oppose another war and intervention is not passive as in,


it is hard-headed common-sense, which I think we should be thinking


about today in this House. To resist the determination of Isil to draw


the Western powers back into the heart of the Middle East is not to


turn our back on our allies, it is refusing to play into the hands of


Isil and what I expect some of them want us to do.


Now, five minutes isn't long for a backbencher to make a speech


but over 100 members wanted to contribute to the debate.


Sir Alan Duncan was the first Conservative MP to speak


and he said the decision not to bomb Syria in 2013 had raised questions


If we choose today to remain on the sidelines, especially when there is


a new and unequivocal United Nations resolution in place, it would signal


to the world that the United Kingdom is indeed choosing to withdraw. Mr


Speaker, we should not be in the business of national resignation


from the world stage. I am not going to be a party to killing innocent


civilians for what will simply be a gesture. I am not interested in


gesture or texts. I am not interested in gesture military


activity. I am interested in affecting military activity, and if


that is brought before this House, I vote for it. To my mind, Isil isn't


such a clear and present danger to the civilized world -- is such a


clear and present danger to the civilized world... Our French allies


have excessively asked us for such support, and I invite the House to


consider how we would feel and what we would say if what took place in


Paris had happened in London, if we had explicitly asked friends for


support and France had refused. -- asked France for support.


Conservative John Baron is a member of the


Foreign Affairs Committee and his amendment opposes the Government's


We should be tackling the ideology and the sectarianism that feeds the


extremism that these groups, including Daesh, feed off. That is a


long-term strategy. You cannot do it overnight, but I don't see much


evidence of that. I find this decision as difficult as anyone to


make. I wish I had, frankly, the self righteous certitude of the


finger jabbing representatives who will no doubt soon be contacting


those of us who support this motion tonight. But I believe that Isil


-gen-macro has to be confronted. -- Isil Daesh.


Conservative Julian Lewis is chair of the defence committee and he


said he had consulted the former ambassador to Syria, Peter Ford.


He calls the freeze Syrian army a ragbag of 58 factions, united mainly


by a desire to use both, Turkish and Western funding. He goes on to say


that the factions which are extremely locally based have no


interest whatsoever in being drawn into battle against groups which


basically share their sectarian agenda hundreds of miles away in


areas with which they are unfamiliar. So, Mr Speaker, instead


of having dodgy dossiers, we now have bogus battalions of moderate


fighters. Daesh are the fascists of our time and I still believe there


is a dignity in uniting with our allies against a common enemy in


defence of our common humanity, and that is what I hope we will do.


The SNP uniformly opposes air strikes.


The party's leader at Westminster, Angus Robertson,


said he appreciated the professionalism of the armed forces,


adding that most of the air crews deployed were likely to be from


RAF Lossiemouth in his constituency.


Like many others, he turned to the issue of ground troops in Syria.


And he raised the issue of the Prime Minister's mandate for action.


The problem is, only a part of those forces are moderate, and there is


absolutely no evidence whatsoever that they would definitely deploy


from other parts of the country to counter Daesh. I asked the Prime


Minister, all this 70,000, how many are moderate and how many are


fundamentalists? I have not had an answer to that question. The UK


Government, Mr Speaker, is going to have a huge problem with legitimacy


and mandate for this operation in Scotland. It might win the vote


tonight, but it will do so with the support of only two out of 59


Scottish MPs. The DUP's leader at Westminster


said his party would be supporting Paris, like the downing of the


Russian airliner, were assaults upon civilized values that have to be


lived up to. To prevent evil spreading further, we must act. It


is a heavy burden of responsibility. So, it is not a


choice between military intervention on the one hand and political


initiatives on the other, both go hand in hand.


Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said the Prime Minister had broadly met


the criteria the Lib Dems wanted to see fulfilled.


This is the toughest call I think I have ever had to make, maybe ever,


and certainly in this House, and what pushes me in the direction of


the voting for action is, above all things, the United Nations


resolution 2249, which calls for us to eradicate the safe haven that


Isis have within Syria that does not just permit this country but urges


this country and all members are capable of doing so to take all


necessary action to get rid of Daesh. If we had just been asked to


bomb Syria, I would be voting no, I would be out there demonstrating in


between speeches and signing up to those e-mails, but this is not just


a case of bombing, this is standing with the United Nations and the


international community to do what is right by people who are the most


beleaguered of all. Meanwhile the Green MP,


Caroline Lucas, said military action should not be used


unless there was evidence that it I share the horror and revulsion


that the recent atrocities in Paris and elsewhere, yet I have still not


heard convincing evidence that the UK bombing Isis targets in Syria


will help bring about lasting peace in the region. The evidence appears


to suggest it would make matters worse.


You're watching Wednesday in Parliament on BBC Parliament.


Peers air concerns and fears over action in Syria.


The Syria debate, naturally, dominated the day in Parliament but


Seb Coe, one-time Olympic gold-medallist, now president


of the world athletics body the IAAF, was facing a committee of MPs.


The long-standing problem of drugs in sport erupted into a huge scandal


earlier this year when a German TV documentary claimed that blood


doping had been carried out on a massive scale by athletes in Russia,


with Russian officials and the IAAF involved


After that came a report by the World Anti Doping Agency,


which found corruption and bribery practices at the highest


We can talk about processes and rules and laws but culture is the


thing we have to address. Following the Olympics, your personal


reputation made you came of the world, it went so well. I think your


reputation is back on the line now that you've taken this job and I


think it is going to be very difficult. Straight question, do you


really think you can do this? You can break this culture if it does


exist? Yes, I have two because I don't there are no tomorrow is for


sport. I have to be honest, this is not within my normal framework of


reference. I do not understand this culture. It is not the culture I was


brought up with, it is not a velocity that any of my coaches had.


My father would have killed somebody that suggested I to do anything at


all to performance in hands. That was the non-negotiable nature of the


environment I was brought up in and that was an environment that the


vast majority of athletes are conjugal in and live in. I wanted to


ask you, have you ever been offered a break? No. By nobody ever to read


your whole career? No. You know anybody who has been offered a


bribe? No. Never heard any chat about the track-side or subsequently


from anybody who has ever said they were offered money? No. It is


extraordinary for our sport that is so full of corruption that you have


never come across it. I have really found in any environment that people


that are doing corrupt acts tend to share that information with their


co-workers. As a journalist myself, I have often heard gossip and gossip


is often wrong but sometimes it is correct and it is quite often when


following up. It is not our environment I have worked in. If the


No, it is not and some serious No, it is not and some serious


allegations have been made about former members of the IAAF and I


accept that. But I don't believe the IAAF, across all its organisation,


and across the vast majority of people that are involved in the


sport, is a corrupt sport. Why hasn't the IAAF dealt with this


issue earlier? Why haven't you been more prominent in pressing it said


you had such a prominent role within the organisation? We were not aware


of the specific nature of those allegations. I was certainly not


aware of the specific allegation that was being made around the


corruption of anti-doping processes in Russia. I would have been aware


of the escalation of the problem and those concerns were relieved,


encountered by me and by others -- relieved. But I do remind you that


there are... They are very serious, I am not walking away from this,


these are serious allegations. The MP noted that Lord Coe


once also had a post within the international football body,


Fifa. You're an exciter in these two


organisations and you are a devilled by allegations for many years. You


have been very closely involved in both organisations -- bedevilled by


allegations. Why should we think, in these circumstances, that you are in


the person to clean up this? I have the experience to do that. I had the


support to do that. Have there been failures? Yes. Will I fix them?


Absolutely. I we listening? Absolutely. I am focused on doing


that and if we don't do that there are no tomorrows for my sport.


Now, back to the debate on whether the UK should


The House of Lords also suspended ordinary business to discuss


the matter, 70 peers putting their names down to speak.


Senior figures from the church and the army


A former head of the British army was one


It is my sincere hope that members on the other place or bought in


significant numbers in favour of the motion they are debating. To do


otherwise would send an appalling message that the UK has pulled up


the drawbridge, is no longer an ally that can be trusted and has lost its


appetite to be a positive influence in Europe and the wider world. My


Lords, this is more about sending the right message, it is about being


part of an effective coalition that is not only clear about is strategic


objectives but also as a credible and coherent plan that takes us from


where we are now to the defeat of the so-called Islamic State and onto


a more secure and stable Syria and that wider region.


The former Conservative Foreign Secretary,


William, now Lord Hague, gave his maiden speech during the debate.


He said the UK should always be open to imaginative diplomatic solutions,


In the end, if communities and leaders cannot live peacefully


together in Syria and Iraq, then we will have to try them living


peacefully but separately in the partition of those countries,


regretfully, though I say that. Well know literary force alone cannot


defeat Daesh, they cannot be defeated without military force. I


think that is a very obvious point. When they enslave women, when a


murder hostages, when they persecute minorities, they are not seeking a


negotiation and since our security as a United Kingdom rests on our


alliances and our greatest alliances are with the United States and with


brands, it would be extraordinary, we would need a very compelling


reason as our security is indivisible from there is not


stacked with them in this crisis -- United States and France.


And Lord Hague finished by saying the use


of small specialist ground forces from western nations in


The Archbishop of Canterbury followed Lord Hague


and said the House would benefit from his experience.


The criteria to my mind have been met. But while there is... While


they are necessary, they are not by themselves sufficient in action of


this kind. Where we can end up doing the right thing in such a wrong way


that it becomes the wrong thing. The communities that have lived there


for 2000 years should not simply be emptied from that region. The


additional military force we are bringing to this quasi policing


operation, already acted over Syria, symbolically and to some extent


significantly adds to what is happening there. But far more than


that, it enables us to act where I were resources and expertise are


world leading in the creation of post-conflict peace and


nation-building. Only a holistic, the logical and global policy will


achieve our aims. If you launch war, you'd want unpredictability. The


best we are deciding on today is, on the balance of probabilities, this


is the best opportunity we will have. There are no certainties. The


second by Taiwan to make is, if we are successes -- successful in


removing eyesore and creating the ability in Syria, it will be messy


and won't look very nice. But peace we will be able to create, might be


able to create. Probably the only thing you can say about the peace is


that it will be better than the war it ended. What good does bombing do?


It makes the people who make bombs happy. But it invites retaliation,


which we have had and we may get more. The biggest question I have is


who are we targeting? It is fine to say we can pinpoint people with


drones, we have seen that bus there an off a lot of drones out there and


an awful lot of people who are being killed and blown out of their


houses. If we had the most abundant at night I would vote against it and


in doing so I believe I would be voting for the majority of members


of my own party. Last night, when the Liberal Democrat MPs said they


were going to support the Government, with various caveats,


there was a ripple of surprise and shock that went through the party


and some of us spent a lot of time last night talking to people who


were really quite angry and felt they had been let down by their MPs.


airstrikes. Now, back to the debate in the House of Commons.


The debate in the House of Commons drew to a close


Summing up for the opposition, Labour's Hilary Benn was in


the unusual position of taking an opposite stance to his party leader.


We are here faced by fascists. Not just their calculator brutality but


their belief that they are superior to every single one of us in this


chamber tonight and all of the people that we represent. They hold


us in contempt. They hauled our values in contempt, I were belief in


tolerance and decency in contempt. They hauled our democracy, the means


by which will make our decision night, in contempt. And what we know


about fascists is that they need to be defeated. My view, Mr Speaker, is


that we must now confront this evil. It is now time for us to do


our bit in Syria. That is why I ask my colleagues to a vote for this


motion tonight. APPLAUSE


The Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond put the case


What kind of a country would we be if we refused to act in the face of


a threat to our security as clear as the one that I thought poses.


Indeed, Mr Speaker, what kind of a country would we be if we were


unmoved by the murder, the rape, the beheadings and the slavery that


Islamic State imposes on its subjects. What kind of a country


would we be if we ignored the calls for help from our nearest


neighbours, even as they grieve for their dead.


That's all from me for now. From me, Georgina Pattinson,


Download Subtitles