Tim Farron speaks out about Syria.
On Thursday we are expecting the Prime Minister to present his proposals for airstrikes against ISIL in Syria to Parliament. Within days of his statement we will almost certainly be asked to vote either for action or against. These are big decisions for us.
I was proud as a party member to support Charles when he opposed the illegal war in Iraq. I was equally proud to support Paddy when he was a lone voice calling for action in Bosnia.
The horrific events in Paris were the starkest reminder that those who act in the name of ISIL are prepared to strike at our closest friends and neighbours.
I have always been clear in my own mind that, whilst military action will be necessary to defeat ISIL, it can never succeed unless there is a much wider strategy. This must address questions of legality and the diplomatic efforts being made to ensure that the coalition of nations confronting ISIL is as broad and effective as is possible.
Today, alongside former leaders Nick Clegg, Menzies Campbell and Paddy Ashdown, and the leaders of our parties in Wales and Scotland, Kirsty Williams and Willie Rennie, I have written to the Prime Minister setting out five fundamental considerations we will take into account before responding to the Prime Minister’s request for support for action.
The text of that letter and the five principles are set out here: