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Reigate and Banstead’s MP Crispin Blunt votes against military action on Syria
Banstead’s MP voted against military action on Syria last week warning that it could result in ‘awful collateral damage’.
Tory rebel MP Crispin Blunt welcomed the defeat of the Government’s motion on Thursday saying it may change the UK’s position in the world.
Mr Blunt told the BBC: "If that is a consequence of this vote, I would be absolutely delighted that we relieve ourselves of some of this imperial pretension that a country of our size can seek to be involved in every conceivable conflict that is going on around the world."
In a statement on Friday he said: "Only time will tell, but it is possible that last night finally saw the United Kingdom moving to a foreign and defence policy which is much more appropriate to a country of our size.
"Our ability to project hard power in the form of military force is limited, but Britain has immense reserves of soft power."
The prime minister's call for military action came after a suspected chemical weapons attack that is reported to have killed over a thousand people in Damascus, the Syrian capital.
Speaking in the Commons on Thursday Mr Blunt said we have witnessed an appalling crime on television and played endlessly on the internet.
But he said: "Evidence shows that action might make things worse rather than better."
He asked: "Are we going to actively degrade chemical weapons? There are hideous practical problems in attempting that, with the potential of awful collateral damage.
"If we go after the command and control structure in a way that is sufficiently active to degrade it, that plainly means going after Assad himself, thus actively intervening on one side in the conduct of the war."
He said the Russians, supported by the Chinese, have vetoed wider international action so they should get Syria to the negotiating table.
He said: "The responsibility to act is not ours, particularly on much more doubtful legal ground around the use of international humanitarian law, which could get us into a potentially hideous situation with unforeseen consequences."
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