Theresa May rejects Jeremy Corbyn's War Powers Act demand

Cheryl Sanders
April 19, 2018

He said: "The Prime Minister's actions are a clear demonstration of why Parliament must assert its authority on this subject".

Opening the debate, Mr Corbyn said the Prime Minister's decision not to recall Parliament ahead of Saturday's airstrikes revealed "a flagrant disregard" for the convention that MPs are consulted on military action.

He said the United Kingdom was backing terrorists in Syria while fighting the same manner of terrorists in Iraq. Instead, they should be put to a vote in Parliament.

President Donald Trump of the United States has been seen as flip-flopping about Russian Federation and Syria, and the bombing he authorised against the Syrian government is considered a statement to Russian Federation, rather than a war against Assad. Fifty Labour MPs refused to back their leader.

The document added: "In these circumstances, and as an exceptional measure on grounds of overwhelming humanitarian necessity, military intervention to strike carefully considered, specifically identified targets in order effectively to alleviate humanitarian distress by degrading the Syrian regime's chemical weapons capability and deterring further chemical weapons attacks was necessary and proportionate and therefore legally justifiable".

Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry said any such law would not apply to urgent cases such as "when we are under attack or the prime minister has been kidnapped".

This afternoon, in an emergency debate led by Jeremy Corbyn, Theresa May pretty much spelt out that Parliament's right to vote ahead of military action should be restricted to major military involvements like the 2003 war on Iraq.

Rzeczpospolita writes about the problems of government, Theresa may, that without the consent of the Houses of Commons took the decision to Britain's participation in the recent missile attack on Syria. One MP said: 'The feeling is nobody will vote against her now it's done and it's punitive and there's been no consequences to our troops'.

The PM was wary that some situations would be undermined by Parliaments slow debate process and that any action may be too late or not needed by the time MPs debate.

She said a War Powers Act would mean smaller scale and targeted military action such as that over the weekend in Syria "would become unviable". I was not prepared to compromise their safety and the efficacy of the mission.

SNP Westminster Leader Ian Blackford said the Government needs to "reflect very carefully" on the debate between ministers today.

He added: "The only people who haven't had a voice are members of this Parliament, and that is to be deeply regretted".

The UK and U.S. have said the strikes were successful, with Mr Trump warning the USA is "locked and loaded" for further action if there are more chemical attacks.

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