David Cameron – 2015 Statement in Paris


Below is the text of the statement made by David Cameron, the Prime Minister, in Paris on 23 November 2015.

Good morning.

It is good to be back in Paris – a city whose people have shown such courage, determination and resilience.

A city where millions came out on Friday night to live their lives and to send a very clear message to the terrorists that you will never win, you will never beat us.

Just over one week on from the devastating terrorist attacks, our thoughts are still with all those who lost loved ones and with the injured who are still recovering.

I want to praise the swift and decisive action taken by the French authorities in response and to prevent further attacks in Paris.

And, in particular, pay tribute to the bravery of French police officers.

It is absolutely right to take decisive action to stop terrorists when they are threatening the lives of innocent citizens.

The United Kingdom will do all in our power to support our friend and ally France to defeat this evil death cult.

Today, President Hollande and I have discussed how we can further strengthen the counter-terrorism co-operation between our 2 countries and work together to defeat ISIL in Iraq and Syria.

Let me say a word about each.


First, counter-terrorism.

We face a shared threat.

And we must share information and intelligence to better protect ourselves from these brutal terrorists.

The UK and France are already doing this but today we have agreed to step up our efforts even further and to work more closely with our European neighbours.

In particular, we must do more to tackle the threat of returning foreign fighters.

This requires a pan-European effort.

We need a stronger external EU border to protect our security more effectively, with screening, systematic security checks and greater sharing of data amongst member states.

We must, without any further delay, finally agree rules that will enable us to share passenger name records. It is frankly ridiculous we can get more information from countries outside the EU than we can from each other.

And we must do more to crack down on the trade in illegal firearms to stop them getting into the hands of terrorists who are determined to wreak such misery with them.

I welcome the strong backing of the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council for all these measures but now we’ve got to turn words into action.

We simply cannot afford to wait.

Syria and Iraq

While we do more to protect ourselves here in Europe, we must also do more to defeat ISIL in their heartlands in Syria and Iraq.

The UK is already playing its part as a member of the counter-ISIL coalition – striking targets in Iraq, providing intelligence over the skies of Syria and helping our allies with vital air-to-air refuelling.

On Friday, the United Nations unanimously backed action to destroy ISIL in Syria and Iraq.

And later this week, I will set out in Parliament our comprehensive strategy for tackling ISIL.

I firmly support the action that President Hollande has taken to strike ISIL in Syria and it is my firm conviction that Britain should do so too.

Of course, that will be a decision for Parliament to make.

Today I have offered President Hollande the use of RAF Akrotiri for French aircraft engaged in counter-ISIL operations and additional assistance with air-to-air refuelling.

We also discussed ongoing efforts to secure a political solution to the conflict in Syria.

We welcome the recent talks in Vienna and we will do all we can to sustain the momentum and to bring all parties to the table so they can agree on a way forward that ends the bloodshed and puts Syria on the path to a more democratic, inclusive and stable future.


These have been important talks this morning.

Later this week, President Hollande will hold discussions with President Obama, President Putin and Chancellor Merkel.

It is clear that the world is coming together to tackle this evil terrorist threat.

That was clear on Friday night when – almost exactly one week after the brutal terrorists murdered people here in Paris and sought to divide us…

…the world united in New York.

We have shown our firm resolve and together we will destroy this evil threat.

Nous sommes solidaires avec vous.