On Monday, North Wiltshire MP James Gray asked the Minister for Defence People and Veterans to clarify the Government’s position in relation to NATO’s involvement in the war in Ukraine
“I believe that any NATO involvement in Ukraine - even with as little as a no-fly zone - would very probably create a much wider war, including potentially a nuclear exchange. That is something we just cannot risk,” said Mr Gray. “ I wholly support the wonderful level of support which the Government has and will continue to provide the Ukrainian authorities to alleviate the hardship being experienced both by the millions of refugees and by the people left in Ukraine.”
Mr Gray added:
“I was proud to hear President Zelensky describe our support as ‘strong and resolute’, and Great Britain as being Ukraine’s best friend. That is great stuff.
But does the Minister agree that there are three risks associated with what is currently happening in Ukraine? The first is mission creep, which, as always, we must beware of; the second could be some kind of error, in which an American or Russian plane is shot down by mistake, possibly leading to some form of escalation; and the third would be a false-flag operation by the Russians, somehow using that as an excuse to try to drag NATO into the war. Does my hon. Friend agree that we must at all costs avoid NATO’s direct involvement in the war? Support is great; war fighting is not.”
The Minister for Defence People and Veterans, Leo Docherty MP, replied that:
“I do, and that is a cogent analysis of the attendant risks to this: mission creep, some sort of error, and a false-flag operation. That is why throughout this we have based our response in a bilateral manner. We are clearly paying attention to what other NATO allies are doing, but it is a bilateral provision, which is right and proper. At all times, it has been entirely bespoke in response to what the Ukrainians themselves want, and we are particularly well placed to do that because of our long-term involvement and successful training of Ukrainian forces since 2014. That has led to a good basis and foundation of warm personal relationships across our two respective militaries, which has really borne fruit.”