Andrew Tyrie was one of only two MPs in Sussex to vote against military action in Syria.
More significantly though was the fact that the Chichester MP was one of only seven Conservatives in the country to break rank and go against Prime Minister David Cameron.
Speaking in a ten-hour debate in the House of Commons, Mr Tyrie said a decade of western intervention in the Middle East had ‘encouraged the growth of militant extremism’ and made us ‘less safe’.
Britain began air strikes on ISIS targets in Syria just hours after MPs voted 397 to 223 in favour at the end of Wednesday’s debate.
Here is Mr Tyrie’s Commons speech in full:
“The ruling out of western ground forces is very significant. It tells us that, after Iraq and Afghanistan, the west appears to lack the will, and perhaps the military strength, to commit the resources that might be needed to construct a new order from the shaken kaleidoscope of Syria.
“As in Libya, it would be relatively easy to remove a brutal dictator from the air, and perhaps also to suppress Isil, but it would be extremely difficult to construct a regime more favourable to our long-term interests.
“We do not need to look into a crystal ball to see that; we can read the book.
“The result of over a decade of intervention in the Middle East has been not the creation of a regional order more attuned to western values and interests, but the destruction of an existing order of dictatorships that, however odious, was at least effective in suppressing the sectarian conflicts and resulting terrorism that have taken root in the middle east.
“Regime change in Iraq brought anarchy and terrible suffering. It has also made us less safe.
“Above all, it has created the conditions for the growth of militant extremism.
“We should be under no illusions: today’s vote is not a small step. Once we have deployed military forces in Syria, we will be militarily, politically and morally deeply engaged in that country, and probably for many years to come.
“That is why the government’s description of the extension of bombing to Syria as merely an extension of what we were already doing in Iraq is misplaced. We simply have not heard enough from the government about exactly what the reconstruction will mean.
“The timing of this vote has everything to do with the opportunity to secure a majority provided by the shocking attacks in Paris.
“Everybody feels a bond with the French, but an emotional reflex is not enough.
“Military action might be effective at some point, but military action without a political strategy is folly.
“We have yet to hear that strategy, so I cannot support the government’s motion tonight.”
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