Report of the Iraq Inquiry (6 Jul 2016)

Alan Brown Scottish National Party, Kilmarnock and Loudoun

With regard to lessons learned, can I ask the Prime Minister to reflect on the situation in Syria? The original proposal was for airstrikes against Assad, but later there was a vote for airstrikes against Daesh. Voices in the House today have said that it was the inaction the first time that left the chaos in Syria just now, which is just inconceivable. With regard to post-conflict planning, I urge the Prime Minister to ensure that there is a properly costed plan in place for post-conflict Syria, and one to which all foreign powers have signed up and pledged the right amount of financial support.

David Cameron The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

We have made some commitments to supporting a post-conflict reconstruction plan for Syria, but I do not agree with the hon. Gentleman about the two votes we had in this House. We won one of them, but I wish that we had won both. I think that taking action against Assad would have been a stronger response against his use of chemical weapons and a stronger response by the west. I think that it would have encouraged the legitimate opposition and that it could have helped bring the conflict to a more rapid closure. The second vote, which we did win, was right. Britain has played a very proud part in the progress that has been made in Syria, making sure that the people who directly threaten us in this country are being properly combated.