Former Deputy Prime Minister @Nick_Clegg: sets out why @LibDems think UK should be part of multilateral airstrikes: https://t.co/DBowrFAPXr.— Darren McCaffrey (@DMcCaffreySKY) December 1, 2015
It is a horribly difficult decision, but I think this is the right call. And I am pleased that all eight (count 'em of our MPs will be voting the same way.
Nick Clegg explained some of the thinking behind this decision in an interview with the Yorkshire Post today.
I wonder if his prominence today reflects an acceptance that he should have accepted the foreign affairs post he was offered when Tim Farron became leader?
Anyway, this is what he said:
"I'm minded to support the extension. Not really because of the military argument because just as much as opponents exaggerate the risks, we are already in a war with Isil. We are already chucking bombs at them and I think people slightly exaggerate what a step it is when they criticise it."
"Equally I think people who overstate what will be gained militarily are also overstating their case. The idea that extra British bombs will militarily change the dynamic completely is stretching credibility.
"I just don't think anyone should overstate the case for or against. We are already at war, we are already dropping bombs from 30,000 feet, we are already conducting surveillance missions over Syria, they are already attacking us, they've already murdered Brits on the beaches of Tunisia. It's already highly likely there's going to be an attack on British soil at some point."
He said France's request for help from the RAF had been a key moment in helping him make up his mind.
"[France] are an incredibly important ally of ours. If that had happened in London and we asked the French, I think we would want the French to try and help us out as one of our closest, nearest neighbours," he said.