The UK recalled parliament debated Syria through Thursday afternoon before voting on what action, if any, would be taken against Syrian leader President Assad. In a tightly run vote in the House of Commons late Thursday UK PM David Cameron lost. British MPs were voting on a watered down version of a resolution for action against the Syrian regime who stand accused of using sarin gas against civilians. Cameron could not even win that.
BBC News reports, "A government motion was defeated 285 to 272, a majority of 13 votes." Prime Minister David Cameron said it was clear Parliament does not want action and "the government will act accordingly". It effectively rules out British involvement in any US-led strikes against the Assad regime."
Cameron could overrule the Commons' vote and use "royal prerogative". However Mr Cameron when asked by Ed Miliband confirmed that he would not use this option. He said the mood of parliament and the nation was against military action and he would act accordingly.
Political pundits are now chewing the fat over where this vote puts the UK on the world stage and where it leaves Dave Cameron.
Will the UK be viewed as unreliable? Will other countries support us if we need help? Is David Cameron a broken Prime Minister? There are many questions and few hard answers.
You have to ask which other countries are now going to join the USA in wading in.to Syria? Canada, for example? Why must the UK, a small overcrowded country, with economic woes, have to be the saviour of the world? Surely it is time others stepped up to the mark?
The first vote in parliament tonight was for "compelling evidence" before action is taken against Syria. Labour lost this vote by 114 votes. PM Cameron was then obviously surprised when he lost the second vote which was the government's motion "in support of military action in Syria if it was supported by evidence from United Nations weapons inspectors, who are investigating claims President Bashar al-Assad's regime had used chemical weapons against civilians."
Although the second vote was tight it was a clear defeat for the British government. Rubbing salt into Cameron's wounds is news that some Labour politicians had not returned to Westminster following the recall and his defeat was in part at the hands of his own party.
The USA and its allies, presumably Germany and France, may now choose to follow a path of conflict or military strikes. With news that UN inspectors are being withdrawn from Syria a day early perhaps military strikes will begin Friday.
At least in the short term any miltary action will not include the UK.
Source: BBC News