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

The hon. Lady will know that the UK is already the second biggest donor of humanitarian aid to the region, so we have a record that we can be proud of. I return to what she had to say about the American strike. I am looking at faces that are familiar from previous statements on Syria; month after month I have come here to update the House on how that tragedy is unfolding, and I see people who have taken a passionate interest in this subject and have called repeatedly for us to do more. Finally, the United States has taken what we believe to be condign action—action that I think is entirely appropriate—but somehow it fails to find favour with the hon. Lady.

I think that what has happened is a good thing, but we should not overstate its importance from a military point of view. We have to recognise that this is a political opportunity, and it is an opportunity for the Russians to recognise the manner of regime that they are propping up. That is the message that we need to get over loud and clear, and unanimously.

As for North Korea, the hon. Lady makes a good point about the need to get rid of nuclear weapons. I think it would be foolish—I hope that she agrees—for the United States even to begin to think of getting rid of its nuclear weapons before we have a denuclearised North Korea.