Executive Intelligence Review


Theresa May Might Not Have the Votes in Parliament for Strike Against Syria

April 12, 2018 (EIRNS)—British Prime Minister Theresa May held an emergency meeting of her Cabinet this evening to discuss the alleged chemical attack in Syria. If May’s government chose to intervene, she might not have enough votes in Parliament to support her, leading to speculation that she might try to bypass a Parliamentary vote. Within her own Cabinet, there are MPs who had voted against intervention in 2013, such as Steve Baker, David Davis and Tracey Crouch.

Former Conservative Party Chancellor of the Exchequer Ken Clarke called for a parliamentary vote on any military action, telling BBC Radio 4’s “World at One”:

“In a modern, parliamentary democracy, I think you have got to have parliamentary approval if you have a planned, policy decision to launch a military attack of any significant size. To say that Parliament is just sidelined before you take such a serious decision is a very retrograde step. It makes parliamentary accountability fairly pathetic.”

The Labour Party might activate its “whip,” demanding all members vote down intervention. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn was quoted by the Guardian that “Parliament should always be given a say on military action” and warned against the threat that air strikes could escalate into a “hot war” between the U.S. and Russia. The Guardian also reports that Corbyn had requested a security briefing as leader of the opposition, on Privy Council terms.

Liberal Democrats leader Vince Cable insisted,

“The government must present the objectives of any proposed action to Parliament. A unilateral response by any country, outside of a wider strategy, without allies, is not the way forward.”

He said he could back action if May had a coherent plan and were working with international partners.

“The use of chemical weapons is a clear red line, and there must be consequences for crossing it. Britain is an outward-facing nation, willing to play our part in upholding international law,”

he opined.