Guest column: We are doing more harm than good in Syria

Sir Edward Leigh
Sir Edward Leigh

It is both a pleasure and a relief to hear from so many constituents from across West Lindsey who agree that this latest intervention in Syria was a dangerous act.

It is all very well for the Government to claim it is a necessity based on the evidence they have seen but they have totally failed to convince the rest of us.

The Iraq fiasco was not so long ago, and the evidence later proved we were right to have been so sceptical about that at the time.

There is no accolade less pleasing than having seen one’s own predictions of disaster proved correct.

In Rome this month, I met with representatives from a number of organisations who are dealing with the migrant and refugee crisis.

And it is depressing to think quite how much of this problem is the direct result of disastrous western foreign policy decisions.

If we hadn’t invaded Iraq, if we hadn’t toppled Gaddafi in Libya, and if we hadn’t insisted on intervening and prolonging the rebellion in Syria, it is difficult to make a case that the world would be worse off.

The fact is that the major new and emerging economies of the world are not tortured with anguish over the Syrian crisis.

China, India, Brazil, and Nigeria both face significant enough challenges looking after their own people to intervene in the affairs of Syria.

We have a humanitarian obligation to be concerned about Syria, but that obligation should be expressed by trying to end the war, not to take part in it.

In my experience, getting around Lincolnshire is nigh impossible without a car.

I am very glad to hear, then, that for the first three months of 2018 car insurance premiums in the UK saw their biggest quarterly fall in four years.

Conservative reforms to the law on whiplash and a review into compensation pay for long-term industries have contributed to the seven per cent drop.

This means that working individuals and families will be able to keep more of their own hard-earned money and have the freedom to spend it as they wish.

Overall, the economic forecast is cautiously optimistic and the most recent news is cheery.

UK exports have increased by 10.4 per cent in the past year, meaning that the value of goods or services which we have sold abroad has risen by £60 billion.

In the music industry, UK record labels are growing at the fastest rate since the Britpop boom of the 1990s.

In the technological sphere, Rolls-Royce is teaming up with Boeing to invest in a British firm developing a new space engine, with potential to revolutionise the launch market.

All of which is happening despite the doom and gloom some people predicted would follow if we voted to leave the EU.

Not only have we not lost hundreds of thousands of jobs, but we’ve gained many, and the economy is growing.

We are slowly and carefully laying the firm foundations for future prosperity.