Falkirk MPs to vote against Syrian air strikes

Falkirk MPs Martyn Day, right, and John McNally will vote against air strikes in Syria today
Falkirk MPs Martyn Day, right, and John McNally will vote against air strikes in Syria today

Both of Falkirk’s Westminster representatives will vote against air strikes on Syria in today’s house of Commons vote.

Falkirk MP John McNally accused David Cameron “arrogance” while East MP Martyn Day said strikes against the country will only cause more human suffering.

A 10-hour Commons debate is under way on the issue with the Prime Minister insisting strikes against terrorist organisation, the so-called Islamic State, IS, ISIS, ISIL or Daesh are necessary to protect Britain from the security threat it poses to citizens.

Over 100 MPs have already signed a cross-party amendment against the proposal, with key signatories including SNP Westminster Leader Angus Robertson MP, Green MP Caroline Lucas, Hywel Williams of Plaid Cymru, SDLP MP Alasdair McDonnell, Labour MP Graham Allen and Conservative John Baron MP.

Mr McNally said: “We are seeing an arrogance from David Cameron who believes his ill-conceived plans to add more planes to the 10 countries already bombing Syria will make a difference.

“Support for this amendment against Syria air strikes is cross-party, and so far has 110 signatories. Of course everyone wants to see the end to Daesh, but the UK government has been running scared from scrutiny on their plans which don’t stack up.

“We don’t know how the UK government plans to secure peace in Syria and what ground forces there will be. We know the UK previously spent 13 times more bombing Libya than on its post conflict stability and reconstruction.

“And just two years ago the Prime Minister urged us to bomb the opponents of Daesh that would have likely strengthened this terrorist organisation.

“The influential Foreign Affairs Committee took a wide range of evidence from military experts, academics, lawyers, the Foreign Secretary and Syrian groups. As a result a number of questions were presented to the Prime Minister and today a majority of committee members agreed that these questions had not been answered.”

Martyn Day said: “I will be voting against the UK taking part in air strikes in Syria.

“There is no shortage of bombing in Syria. Adding UK forces to the military tango in the skies will be militarily irrelevant and will only cause further human suffering in Syria.

“A major concern is that further bombing may only act to destabilise the area even more and play into the hands of the extremists. No military action should be entered into without a firm strategy for winning peace.”

The Prime Minister is expected to get a majority for air strikes once the votes are in which would see the UK join Russia, France and the US among others in bombing targets in Raqqa, said to be IS’s stronghold.

The vote is expected at 10pm tonight.