Paul Flynn – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Paul Flynn on 2016-02-09.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the effect on employment levels in the Syrian textile industry of the application of sanctions on Syria; and if he will estimate the number of Syrian textile workers and their families who have left Syria due to the loss of employment arising from application of economic sanctions.

Mr Tobias Ellwood

International sanctions restrict the regime’s ability to wage war against the civilian population and pressure the regime to engage in negotiations with the opposition. The UK fully supports EU sanctions against Syria which are rigorously assessed to ensure restrictive measures are targeted and proportionate. We are mindful of the humanitarian impact of sanctions.

There are no EU sanctions specifically on the Syrian textile industry and we are not aware of any direct impact of sanctions on employment levels in the textile industry.

The high number of civilians fleeing Syria is a direct consequence of the regime’s brutal five-year war against the civilian population. The regime has repeatedly employed siege tactics, indiscriminately attacked densely populated areas and targeted civilian infrastructure. Therefore, only by securing a political solution to the Syrian conflict will it be possible to provide stability for Syrian workers and their families, and stop the current levels of people leaving Syria.