MP is against Syria strikes

Calum Kerr, SNP MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk

Calum Kerr, SNP MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk

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UK jets were bombing Syrian oilfields controlled by so-called Islamic State militants within hours of the UK Parliament voting to join US-led coalition air strikes.

MPs voted 397 to 223 in favour of the UK joining the air strikes against so-called Islamic State militants after a 10-hour debate in the House of Commons, with Borders MP, Calum Kerr, voting against the motion alongside his fellow SNP MPs.

John Lamont, MSP for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire

John Lamont, MSP for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire

Tweeting throughout the Parliamentary debate Mr Kerr said: “Instead of rolling out the bombs we should be rolling up our sleeves and working on a proper plan for peace, that’s leadership!

“I do not know a single MP who does not want Daesh destroyed, but simply throwing down more bombs is not the answer. We need a proper plan that will secure peace in Syria.

“I support the international initiative on Syria agreed in Vienna to secure a ceasefire, transition to stable government and counter terrorist groups. If the UK governments wants to show leadership it should roll up its sleeves and work on this plan, not roll out the bombs.”

Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, Conservative MSP John Lamont, however, believes MPs reached the right decision.

“I believe the case was made in the Commons for extending UK air strikes already taking place in Iraq to target ISIL in Syria,” said Mr Lamont.

“The UK Parliament has voted to support our allies in a fight against a fascist death cult who are already plotting to do terrible things in this country and in others. It would have been wrong for the UK to sub-contract our security to other countries and expect the aircrews of other nations to carry the risks of destroying ISIL.

“The language of those who voted against airstrikes has been disappointing. Now the decision has been made, we all need to get behind our brave service men and women who actions are keeping us at home safe.

“This difficult decision is about more than Scotland, it is about more than the UK, it is about standing with our allies against fascists who want to destroy our way of life.

“But we cannot defeat ISIL with military action alone. The Prime Minister’s approach includes a counter-extremism strategy at home, supporting the diplomatic and political peace process and humanitarian support. Britain has so far given over £1 billion, and would contribute at least another £1 billion for post-conflict reconstruction to support a new Syrian Government when they emerge.”