19 August 2021

Yesterday I spoke in the emergency debate on the situation in Afghanistan, there were some highly moving and well-informed speeches. Virtually everyone agreed that the premature withdrawal by the US left the UK with little other option but to follow. 

In my speech, I commented on my visit to Afghanistan in 2007 where I witnessed the effect on our servicemen and women who had just lost one of their comrades and I stressed the need for the Government to help with mental health support. I said there were short-term actions that needed to be taken to secure the safe evacuation of foreign and Afghan people’s lives at risk due to their contact with NATO allies and to help with the rehabilitation of refugees as quickly as possible. 

This is a dark time for Afghanistan and Britain needs to step up its diplomacy in every international forum to secure a sustainable future for the country. Where Britain does not lead with its values of democracy, tolerance, a good judicial system, and a free press, whether in Afghanistan or elsewhere, the world is a poorer and nastier place.