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Syria: UK Military Action — Motion to Take Note

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:56 pm on 2nd December 2015.

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Photo of Lord Taverne Lord Taverne Liberal Democrat 6:56 pm, 2nd December 2015

My Lords, I have a brief point to make which I believe has not yet been raised in the debate. Our friend and ally, France, has suffered a traumatic experience which deserves our deepest sympathy. President Hollande has appealed to us to make common cause with France in its hour of crisis. If we reject his appeal, it will foster a strong and probably lasting resentment throughout France. When Britain needs the support of France, as we will in the negotiations for reform of the European Union, we will be likely to receive a frosty if not hostile response. French hostility could well be a decisive factor which will decide whether Cameron comes back with a deal that he feels he can recommend to the British people, and whether we stay in the European Union. It makes a satisfactory outcome of the negotiations less likely.

To me, and to those who feel that Brexit would be a disaster for British influence in the world, and would also be likely to mean the end of the United Kingdom, that issue is a further and compelling reason why we should support France and the other members of the coalition.