Britain 'not world's policeman' - Monmouth MP who rebelled over Syria
Britain cannot afford to be the world’s policeman any more, Gwent's rebel Tory MP has told the Argus.
All six Gwent MPs last night rejected a motion backing the use of force “if necessary” over chemical weapons in Syria.
David Davies, MP for Monmouth, was one of 30 Conservative rebels that helped tip the balance against the UK Government.
The House of Commons motion backing the use of force "if necessary’’ in response to last week's deadly chemical weapons attack was rejected by 272 votes to 285, majority 13, after a lengthy debate.
Mr Davies told the Argus there has been a “shift in thinking over the last few years. It perhaps takes a while to filter through to Parliament."
“I think Britain is coming to accept that we are not the world’s policemen. We can’t afford that role anymore.”
The former Bassaleg Comprehensive School pupil rejected the suggestion he had voted to damage the government: “I think it’s doing a good job on most things. It’s just on this particularly issue that I didn’t agree.
“The prime minister spoke very well and made a good case. He was motivated entirely by trying to help those affected and he himself said that there’s a judgment to be made here.
But he said: “I didn’t think we should get involved. It’s a powder keg, throwing a few missiles into it isn’t going to help.
"On balance I don't think it was the right time to do it."
Mr Davies argued Cameron wasn’t humiliated by the vote and that the coalition hadn’t been damaged either: “If anything Parliament has been strengthened by it.”
“A lot of people are saying the Government has lost control of Parliament,” Mr Davies said, adding: “Parliament has regained control of government.".
Despite his role in rejecting military action now, Mr Davies suggested there still could British participation in future if the international community agreed.
“There might come to a point where the whole international community will come together and say this has to stop and take action,” he said.
“Britain could join. I’m not saying we should. We have to make a judgment at the time.
The Iraq War had “certainly affected” him, Mr Davies said. At the time of the 2003 invasion Mr Davies was an Assembly Member: “I took the view at the time that, what did I know? How could it be possibly wrong when everyone was saying this was the right thing to do?”
“If I had been MP the I would have probably voted for it. I think that is now wrong.
“We were given the impression that the Prime Minister [Tony Blair] had secret intelligence and that Saddam could launch an attack in 45 minutes – a lot of this stuff had been exaggerated.
“There has been much more of a feeling that MPs will not simply put their trust in the intelligence services and cabinet to let them get on with it on matters of war.
“There’s definitely been a damage to trust.”
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