Author Archives: Steve Baker

Reaction to Mr Kerry’s intervention in the EU debate on behalf of the USA


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The Independent reports my reaction to US Secretary of State John Kerry’s intervention in the EU debate: Responding to Mr Kerry’s remarks at the Munich annual security conference the Conservative MP Steve Baker said to the Independent: “I refer Mr Kerry to the US Declaration of Independence. We will do peacefully at the ballot box that for which his nation fought a bloody war of insurrection. “If the USA must express a view on the UK’s right to the separate […]

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Answers to the key questions on Syria


Online and in the comments on my last article, members of the public are raising legitimate questions which were, I think, answered in last night’s debate. To read the media, one would think we had voted for a general war: we did not. The motion, as I reported, was tightly drafted. The speeches made by the Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, and his Labour shadow, Hilary Benn, made the case clearly. Mr Benn’s speech was outstanding: it may be found here by using […]

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Why I am supporting the extension of military action against ISIL/Daesh to Syria


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In a previous article, I said I would decide whether to support the Government in extending military action against ISIL/Daesh into Syria once I had seen the motion. The motion is here and it is as follows (layout and emphasis my own): That this House notes that ISIL poses a direct threat to the United Kingdom; welcomes United Nations Security Council Resolution 2249 which determines that ISIL constitutes an ‘unprecedented threat to international peace and security‘ and calls on states to […]

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Syria: The Prime Minister’s response the Foreign Affairs Select Committee


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Last night on Wycombe Sound, I promised to make available the Prime Minister’s response to the Foreign Affairs Committee’s inquiry on Syria. The inquiry produced the report The extension of offensive British military operations to Syria (PDF). It concluded: In the face of a humanitarian and security catastrophe, there is a powerful sense that something must be done in Syria. We agree that it is a key British national interest to defeat ISIL and we consider this to be a necessary goal for […]

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The attacks on Paris and potential action in Syria


The atrocity in Paris last weekend has horrified people across the globe.  It is clear this barbaric attack has underlined all decent people’s rejection of terror and violence and reaffirmed their commitment to live in an open and free society. It has reinforced everyone’s intolerance of violence and extremism. The freedoms we enjoy were won at great cost and should not be surrendered in cowardice. Our way of life is worth defending. Those of us on the centre right of politics believe […]

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Exploring the risks of EU mis-regulation with Sparks e-cigarettes


The EU Tobacco Products Directive looks set to seriously damage the development of the e-cigarette industry. That is likely to diminish the prospects of helping people quit smoking and lead far healthier lives. Researchers from University College London (UCL) have said that: For every million smokers who switched to an e-cigarette we could expect a reduction of more than 6000 premature deaths in the UK each year, even in the event that e-cigarette use carries a significant risk of fatal diseases, and […]

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Tomorrow, an IEA afternoon conference on Christianity, politics, the poor and the planet


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Tomorrow, I am speaking at an IEA conference on Christianity, politics, the poor and the planet, addressing Christianity and inequality: Christianity and inequality Churches have always been concerned about the problem of poverty even if there are differences in views about how it should be tackled. However, in recent years, despite inequality in the world falling, there have been an increasing number of critics of the “rich” and of the level of inequality. This panel will discuss the approaches Christians should take […]

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Social justice is back – David Cameron’s magnificent conference speech


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David Cameron has once again set out a magnificent vision for a Conservative programme to make Britain greater. I am delighted our poverty-fighting social justice ideas are back at the forefront of Conservatism. I may have entered politics over the Lisbon Treaty, but the journey taught me the calamitous extent of the welfare state’s failures under Labour. That’s why I helped the Centre for Social Justice before the election: we must succeed to a far greater extent in our fight against […]

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When planning goes wrong – business change of use


I feel sure I can claim the support of everyone if I write that the planning system should promote prosperity. I am certain those operating the system work diligently within the rules with that noble intent in mind. However, over the past few years, I have seen a number of instances where business owners have had what I considered their legitimate and beneficial commercial interests impeded or completely stymied by planning decisions. Reasons have always been given but in every case, […]

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The Assisted Dying (No. 2) Bill


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On Friday, the Commons decisively rejected the Assisted Dying (No. 2) Bill. It was “A Bill to enable competent adults who are terminally ill to choose to be provided with medically supervised assistance to end their own life; and for connected purposes.” The Bill attracted huge interest among MPs and voters, with over 85 MPs applying to speak. These matters of conscience, controversy and high emotion are difficult and important moments in the work of our Parliament. Many constituents wrote to me […]

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