Gary's News and views

Gary Streeter MP for South West Devon

Gary writes a weekly article which appears in the Plympton Plymstock and Ivybridge News in South West Devon. The articles are published here.


Thursday, 4 September 2014


Earlier this week the Prime Minister announced new measures to try to tackle the unacceptable threat of young British men leaving our shores to fight for an extreme Islamist state and then returning here to continue their battle against our values.

Parliament legislated last year to strip British citizenship from people of dual nationality if they pose a threat to our country and we intend to use those powers robustly. However, it is illegal under international law to render people stateless, so we cannot take citizenship away from those who are only nationals of this country. It is clearly counter-productive to try to uphold international law and values by breaking international law, and it would be a mistake to trash the core principles that make us a great country just to tackle this immediate problem.

The new menace of jihadists leaving our shores and returning to do harm is not just a challenge for the UK. We seem to have about 500 young extremists so far who have gone, France and Germany each have a similar number.

The Prime Minister announced on Monday that we will seek to introduce a targeted discretionary power to allow us to exclude British nationals from the UK. These proposals must be practical and will probably involve some kind of interment while a person seeking to return is being investigated. I am confident that the majority of my constituents support the toughest measures possible.

Many of us feel strongly that those who have grown up in the UK (or France or Germany) and who have benefitted from the freedoms and opportunities that we have worked so hard to secure and who then seek to undermine or destroy those values should be punished most severely. Young radicals should be free to leave us if they want to set up some kind of medieval Islamic state, but we cannot allow them to come back and start undermining our cherished democratic freedoms.

Where is all of this going to end? We cannot stress often enough that most Muslims are as sick of this lunatic minority as the rest of us. They have been vocal in their condemnation of the conduct of ISIL. It is crucial that we do not tar all British Muslims with the same brush.

At the same time, national security is paramount and we should be ruthless in hunting down, prosecuting and imprisoning all so-called British jihadists. The Wisdom of Solomon is required.

posted by Gary @ 14:29