Refugees - We must bring peace to region

I hope all of us here in Lincolnshire are moved by the plight of those suffering in Syria and Iraq.

I have consistently and always argued that we need to do more to alleviate that suffering and to bring peace – not further bloodshed – to this troubled region.

As Britons, we can be proud of many things our government is doing, which we taxpayers are funding.

Great Britain is the second largest bilateral donor of humanitarian aid for Syria, with £2.3 billion pledged.

The Royal Navy’s deployment to the Mediterranean has likewise saved thousands of lives, and we have already granted asylum to thousands of Syrians and their families, allowing them to come to the United Kingdom.

With the implementation of the Syrian Vulnerable Persons’ Resettlement Scheme, this will only increase further.

But asylum is not, and cannot be, the main solution. The overwhelming majority of displaced people are still in Syria and its neighbouring states.

It is vital for the future success of any peace in Syria that these refugees return home and build the stability that their country so dearly needs.

It is totally immoral to think we can allow Syria to become a shelled-out ruin.

There are other aspects of the Government’s actions in the Middle East that are less praiseworthy.

I think the front bench have been totally unrealistic in trying to topple Assad, who, for all his loathsome tactics, many regard as the last stumbling block between some semblance of ordinary life and the terrors of living under ISIS.

I have spoken in the Commons, arguing that we need to be more practical and level-headed. ISIS is the greater threat, and we should be building whatever alliances necessary to defeat them.

The troubles in the Middle East should only make us more grateful for the peace and prosperity we enjoy here in the United Kingdom.

I am sure I am joined by many of us in our part of England and throughout the country in being immensely grateful for the lifetime of service and dedication provided by the Queen.

She has stood by her country and her people as a leader and constant guardian.

Looking at it from a parliamentary perspective, she’s had to deal with quite a variety of Prime Ministers, starting with Winston Churchill.

In situations that would have provoked a breakdown in many, the Queen has stood firm and refused to complain. She is a model for us all.

The treasury predictions included in the referendum leaflet sent to every household are beginning to look more and more ridiculous.

Economic forecasting is a dangerous game at the best of times. The reality is we can’t accurately say what things will be like 10 years from now, whether we stay in the EU or not.

That being the case, I’d rather be in charge of my own affairs and have the ability to adapt to changing circumstances.

That’s one of the main reasons I’ll be voting to leave on June 23.

Sir Edward Leigh MP

Gainsborough Constituency