London, Aug 30: Britain’s House of Commons Thursday voted to reject a government motion on military action against Syria after an eight-hour intense debate.
The parliamentary motion, calling for “a strong humanitarian response from international society” that includes military action, was defeated by 272 votes to 285, Xinhua reported.
Speaking after the vote, Prime Minister David Cameron said it was clear that “the British parliament, reflecting the views of the British people, does not want to see British military action…I get that, and the government will act accordingly”.
However, the vote was not binding. The opposition leader, Ed Miliband, has called on the prime minister to confirm he would not use the royal prerogative to order Britain to take part in military action before another vote in the parliament.
“I can give that assurance,” Cameron said, insisting “I strongly believe in the need for a tough response to the use of chemical weapons.”
Britain is facing strong internal question about military intervention in Syria, with polls showing 50 percent of people against missile strikes and 40 percent against any form of British involvement, while 25 percent supports missile strikes against Syria.
The Labour party also demands the government release “compelling evidence that the Syrian regime was responsible for the use of these weapons”, stressing that any response would be legal in international law and that the parliament can vote on Britain’s participation.