The House is deeply united on the humanitarian aid but deeply divided on the oversimplified view of the Foreign Secretary, who, on this complex civil war, could not bring himself to mention the al-Nusra Front, a jihadist group that is a vital part of the opposition. It has been accused of some of the most bloodthirsty massacres of civilians. Will he give an absolute guarantee that before we commit military equipment or personnel to Syria there will be a debate and a vote in this House, so that we can avoid repeating what we have done so often, which is in trying to punch above our weight we die beyond our responsibilities?
I am sure that the hon. Gentleman has been listening carefully and will know that I have not announced or advocated sending military equipment or personnel. Of course we have conventions in this House, which he and I strongly support, about when we take decisions in the House, and we will observe all those. He will have to decide, given his long concern for humanitarian issues, whether it would be right to be static in the face of this situation. That is the alternative to what I have described. Everybody across the House is rightly concerned about the humanitarian situation, but I do not believe it is responsible for policy to sit still in the face of a rapidly worsening situation.
THE CONVENTION MENTIONED BY WILLIAM HAGUE IS THE 2003 PRECEDENT OF THE VOTE BEFORE THE IRAQ WAR