Syria Vote – 29.8.2013

  • The House did not vote for either motion
  • The Prime Minister has indicated that he strongly believes in the need for a tough response to the use of chemical weapons.
  • But he also believes in respecting the will of the House of Commons.
  • It is very clear tonight that while the House has not passed a motion, the British Parliament – reflecting the views of the British people – does not support British military action.
  • The Prime Minister understands that, and the Government will act accordingly.

My own position is that, having helped to secure a motion that would have given time for the UN weapons inspectors to complete their task and then offered the House a further vote on a substantive motion (which I would almost certainly have opposed) I supported the Government motion. Personally, I am pleased that we shall not be engaging in direct military intervention in Syria although I am concerned that the position that we now find ourselves in may make it harder to deliver the United Nations General Assembly vote that I suggested, in the Commons, that we should pursue. We now have to find a way to help to bring about a political solution in Syria while maintaining humanitarian support for the thousands of people displaced as a result of the conflict.

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