Parliament is set to debate and vote on whether to support airstrikes on Syria.  On the 24th November, Tim Farron outlined the 5 tests that would need to be met before Liberal Democrat MP's would consider supporting airstrikes on Syria.  Indeed, the media report that the Liberal Democrat MP's have yet to come to a position.

I don't believe those tests have been satisfied and here is why:

1) Legality

This test has been met with UN Resolution 2249

2) Wider diplomatic framework including efforts towards a no-bomb zone to protect civilians

This test has NOT been met. What evidence has been presented of plans for a no-bomb zone? 

3) UK led pressure on Gulf states for increased support in the region

This test has NOT been met. What, if any, evidence has been presented of such pressure being applied to Gulf states? And what are the chances of it succeeding ? 

4) Post-ISIL plan

This test has NOT been met. The government is NOT clear on what Syria and Iraq will look like post-ISIL. Nor is the government clear on the post-conflict strategy (including an exit strategy) they propose to give the best chance of avoiding a power vacuum.

5) Domestic

This test has NOT been met. The government has not published its 2014 investigation into the Muslim Brotherhood. What if any investigation has taken place into foreign funding and support of extremist and terrorist groups in the UK? Are there proposals to increase the number of Syrian refugees accepted in the UK?

The 5 conditions set out by the Liberal Democrats have NOT been satisfied.  What's the point of them if we ignore them?


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