DEFENCE – DEFENCE REFORM BILL – COMMITTEE STAGE – 20 November 2013

Dr Julian Lewis: In support of what my hon. Friend [Sir Gerald Howarth] has just said, which is the single most important observation anyone can ever make about defence planning, namely the unpredictability of future crises, may I remind him – that is not to say that he needs reminding – that only a few years ago the constant predictions were that it would be all about boots on the ground for the next 30 or 40 years? Let us therefore not make the mistake of doing something too rigid when we need maximum flexibility.

[Sir Gerald Howarth: Naturally, I agree with my hon. Friend.]

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Dr Lewis: The vote on Syria was absolutely different from any other vote, because it was not just about humanitarian assistance; it was about helping al-Qaeda take over another country, and many of us who support humanitarian assistance would not support that.

[For Julian's speech in this debate click here.]