UK Parties Urge May to Discuss London's Possible Military Action in Syria
Numerous UK parties have urged Prime Minister Theresa May to not make decisions on the country’s possible military action in Syria in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma without first holding parliamentary consultations.
Reports about the alleged attack in the Syrian town of Douma emerged on Saturday. The European Union and the United States have rushed to blame the Syrian government forces for the incident, but Damascus has refuted the allegations. US President Donald Trump, French leader Emmanuel Macron and May agreed on Tuesday that the international community needed to respond to the alleged chemical weapons attack.
Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of UK opposition Labour party, has repeatedly called for engaging parliament in the discussion on potential UK military action in Syria. He stressed that military intervention in Syria might further escalate “an already devastating conflict.”
“It is vital that parliament has the chance to debate and decide in advance on any government proposals to support a new US-led military intervention in Syria, which risks a dangerous escalation of the conflict,” Corbyn said on Twitter on Thursday.
Ian Blackford, the leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) group in the House of Commons, explained that parliamentary debates on the issue needed to happen because “an ill-considered rush to military action” could deteriorate the situation in Syria.
“Our Parliament must have to opportunity to debate and to vote on this most important matter. Proper scrutiny and democratic principles must be applied. The House of Commons must be recalled as a matter of urgency… A solution must be found to bring this war to an end. A rash, closed-door decision for military action is not the answer,” Blackford said in a statement, published on his Twitter.
Leanne Wood, the leader of Plaid Cymru-Party of Wales, noted that London must not partake in any military campaign “at any cost” without approval from parliament.
“The UK must not at any cost participate in military action of any kind without parliamentary consent. This should be reflected within the international community through securing UN backing for any intervention,” Wood wrote on his Twitter page.
Vince Cable, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, also stressed the need for a discussion on the matter in parliament.
“Cabinet agreement on #SyriaCrisis not sufficient for action. #Parliament must consider evidence, objectives and vote. Can be recalled tomorrow or over the weekend. Very unwise to press ahead without mandate,” Cable posted on Twitter.
Moscow has called for a thorough investigation into the alleged attack to be conducted before conclusions are made. Earlier on Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Moscow had irrefutable evidence that the alleged chemical attack in Douma was staged with the involvement of foreign security services.