We need your support to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can continue to hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Syria and North Korea

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:13 pm on 18th April 2017.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Boris Johnson Boris Johnson Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 4:13 pm, 18th April 2017

I am obviously disappointed that the shadow Foreign Secretary should choose to intrude into this very important consideration relatively separate issues of domestic political policy: we are trying to explain the position of the UK, and indeed the west, towards the Assad regime. And, by the way, we are having a televised debate now in case she had not noticed, and we should continue in that way.

To answer the right hon. Lady’s serious point, we are engaged in trying to use the opportunity provided by American action to drive forward the political process. It is not easy, and I think in all honesty that she should reflect on her approach, because what we are trying to do requires a great degree of cross-party support. We want the Russians to face up to the real option before them. If they continue to back Assad, they will be backing a regime that—I hope Members heard what I said about the use of chemical weapons—has been proved beyond a shadow of doubt to have used chemical weapons that are banned under international law. I would like the Russians to accept that there is a deal. That could be that they have an improvement in their relations with the Americans, and work together with the rest of us to tackle the scourge of Daesh. In return, the Russians need to understand that they need to make a serious commitment to a political process. At the moment, they are not doing that. They need to make a proper commitment to a ceasefire, and at the moment they are not making that commitment. They need to stop their client using chemical weapons. They said that they would do that in 2013. Rather than simply parroting the lines of the Kremlin, the right hon. Lady should support the collective action of the west, not just the G7 but the like-minded countries—