City’s MPs split on Syria air strikes

Prime Minister Theresa May in the House of Commons defending the decision to join air strikes in Syria
Prime Minister Theresa May in the House of Commons defending the decision to join air strikes in Syria

MPs in Brighton and Hove are split over the Conservative Government’s decision to join air strikes against the Syrian regime.

Sites in the Middle East country were targeted on Saturday by the US, French and UK in response to an alleged chemical attack earlier this month.

Defending the decision on Monday, Prime Minister Theresa May described how cabinet ministers ‘agreed that it was not just morally right but legally right to take military action, together with our closest allies, to alleviate further humanitarian suffering’.

However opposition parties have criticised the Government for not giving Parliament a say before the air strikes were authorised.

MPs in Brighton and Hove have split on the issue.

In the Commons on Monday, Labour’s MP for Hove Peter Kyle described how Mrs May had ‘acted entirely appropriately’.

He said: “If these chemical weapons became normalised, not only would they be used against civilians in the future, but the time would surely come when our own servicemen and women would go into action for our country and they would be used against them too.

“That would be unforgivable. However, military action is not a replacement for diplomacy. Does the Prime Minister accept that we need a global response on the scale of the Gleneagles summit—when we focused the world’s attention on international development—to tackle Syria and put strategy behind it once and for all?”

But responding to the news of the air strikes at the weekend, Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, argued the Prime Minister had ‘trampled over Parliamentary democracy by ordering these air strikes without a debate and vote’.

She said: “Not only are these strikes likely to be ineffective in terms of deterring Assad, but they also risk further escalating an already deadly situation.

“For these attacks to have happened before OPCW inspectors have even been able to investigate the site is also deeply concerning.”

“We should be cracking down on Russia through further sanctions and pursuing diplomatic channels - not rushing into bombing missions alongside a trigger happy US President.”

Meanwhile before the air strikes Lloyd Russell-Moyle, Labour MP for Brighton Kemptown, tweeted: “Joining the US in a limited strike like it did last year under similar circumstances is meaningless because it will necessitate warning Russia, which will warn Syria and Iran. We will be bombing tarmac for the cameras again and won’t change Assad’s calculus in using gas.

“Joining a US strike with wider war aims to meaningfully roll back Assad will prolong the war and risk direct military confrontation with Russia.

“May will be the junior partner to Trump which means our PM will not know what war she is entering Britain into. In my view, this is folly.

“Britain must limit its response to both the crises in both Syria to pursuing humanitarian and diplomatic support, both bilateral and multilateral, in tandem with suspending sales of arms and chemical weapon precursors to non-democratic belligerents to the civil war.”
He added: “I have sympathy with the desire to act; to try and enforce both international law and to show Syria that it cannot continue to poison its citizens.

“But there is no way to bomb Syria into the country we want it to be.”

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