Middle East

7th January 2020

Andrew Mitchell urges the Government to continue to work closely with allies to defeat ISIL and de-escalate tensions in the region.

My right hon. Friend is clearly absolutely right to focus, laser-like, on defending British personnel and interests, but can he assure the House that Britain is working closely with all our allies in Europe and the region, as well as in the US, to finish the job of defeating ISIL and to de-escalate tensions rather than see them spiral out of control, using all the available opportunities through the much challenged but vital international rules-based system?

Yes. My right hon. Friend is absolutely right that the No. 1 threat to us in the United Kingdom and to Europe is the actions by Daesh. We must continue the assault on them, not only in their bases, where they are, but on their ideas, on the internet and in some of our own communities. We will continue to do that. I spoke with my French counterpart—France has often been at the forefront of ISIS attacks in Europe—and she and I are determined that that assault does not fall off the agenda and that we maintain not only our investment in fighting ISIS but our determination to recognise that they have not gone away and that it will be a long fight.


Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell speaking in the House of Commons, January 2020