Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home News UK

Osborne: UK has got its mojo back with Syria air strikes

Published 07/12/2015

George Osborne believes air strikes in Syria will help degrade IS
George Osborne believes air strikes in Syria will help degrade IS

Britain has "got its mojo back" and stands alongside the United States in the fight to "reassert Western values", George Osborne has said.

Speaking in the US, the Chancellor said it was a "source of real pride" for him that MPs had overwhelmingly backed air strikes in Syria against Islamic State.

Mr Osborne said Britain, in partnership with the US, was taking the fight to IS by cutting off financing and tackling extremist ideology.

He told the Council on Foreign Relations think tank: "Britain has got its mojo back and we are going to be with you as we reassert Western values, confident that our best days lie ahead."

The Commons defeat Prime Minister David Cameron suffered over action in Syria against Bashar Assad's brutal regime in 2013 was a "striking moment", Mr Osborne said.

"The House of Commons did not agree with the proposition that David Cameron and myself and my colleagues in the Conservative leadership put forward and it was quite a striking moment," he told the think tank.

"It was a moment when Britain was unable to follow the lead asked of it by our Prime Minister and the government."

He added: "It is for me a source of real pride that actually a couple of years later the House of Commons has voted by a big majority to take part in the action already being directed against this terrorist organisation Isis or Daesh in Syria."

Mr Osborne said British air strikes were not the answer alone but insisted they would help degrade the jihadi organisation.

Mr Osborne suggested a long term political settlement in Syria was not dependent on the entire Assad regime being ousted.

He said: "It's difficult to see how Syria can have any long term future with Assad there as president, many people would never return to that country if that were the case.

"But, that doesn't mean the entire Syrian regime has to go."

Mr Osborne said the price of failing to take military action in Syria earlier is "very apparent to people".

" I think in Britain we are ready to play a bigger role," he told the event in New York.

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph