David Davis: 'Bring back Isis fighters to stop future generation of terrorists'

David Davis MP in the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
David Davis MP in the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
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David Davis has called on the Government to reconsider its stance on taking back British citizens who have travelled to join ISIS as Turkey’s offensive against the Kurds in Syria entered its seventh day.

US President Donald Trump cleared the way for Turkey's air and ground offensive last week, as he pulled back US forces from the area and saying he wanted to stop getting involved with "endless wars".

Mr Trump's decision drew swift bipartisan criticism that he was endangering regional stability and risking the lives of Syrian Kurdish allies who brought down the Islamic State group in Syria.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces were the main US ally in the fight against IS and lost 11,000 fighters in the nearly five-year battle against the extremists.

In a debate in the Commons yesterday Mr Davis, MP for Haltemprice and Howden, asked Foreigen Secretary Dominic Raab to reconsider on bringing home British and European citizens who travelled to fight with Isis in a bid to stop further terrorism.

Earlier this month Kurdish officials demanded the UK fulfils its “moral and legal duty” to repatriate Shamima Begum and other British Isis members held in Syria.

The concern was rampant extremism in the camps they were detained in could be creating the conditions for an Isis resurgence.

But the Government has so far refused to do so and Defence Secretary Ben Wallace claimed ministers would be guilty of “rendition” if the government brought British Isis fighters and their families back from Syria against their will.

Mr Wallace also said there may not be enough evidence in certain cases to convict them in a court of law.

But Mr Davies said yesterday: “The most immediate threat to British and European security will arise from the escape of Daesh terrorists as a result of the increased conflict in the area.

“Can he reconsider with his Cabinet colleagues our approach to taking back the people who are of British or European origin and making them face British and European justice, rather than leaving them at risk in the area, and bringing back their families, so that we do not see them raised as another generation of terrorists to threaten us in the future?”

Mr Raab replied said it was a “powerful point” and “we certainly want to see those responsible for atrocities and crimes given justice in the region, so far as that is practical”.

He said: “One of the key points that has come out of the latest turn of events with Turkey is that that has become more, not less, difficult.

“In relation to the question of returns, we do not want to see foreign fighters returning to this country, but as I made clear in an earlier answer, we are looking at whether orphans and unaccompanied minors who bear UK nationality can be given safe passage to return to the UK, because, as he said, it is utterly unfair that such innocents should be caught in the crossfire.”