This post was edited by 1584austin at 2013-8-30 23:02|
UK>>>MPs have voted against British military intervention in Syria.
The vote came at the end of an emergency debate in the House of Commons prompted by the Syrian regime's alleged use of chemical weapons on its own people.
The government lost by 13 votes. A total of 272 MPs voted in favour of the principle of taking action, while 285 voted against.
A Labour proposal saying there must be "compelling evidence" that Syria used chemical weapons before the UK takes part in military action was also defeated, by 332 votes to 220.
Responding to the outcome of the votes, David Cameron told the Commons: "The British people do not want to see military action. I get that, and the government will act accordingly."
Results of MSN poll on Syria
The result means Britain now seems unlikely to launch a military strike on Syria.
A poll this week on MSN suggested that four in 10 Britons would not support a military intervention under any circumstances, while a fifth said they were in favour of action only if British interests were threatened.
Here's what could happen next:On Friday 30 August, weapons inspectors in Syria are expected to finish their work investigating the sites of alleged chemical weapon attacks.
They will leave Syria on Saturday to present their findings to the United Nations. This could happen as early as Sunday 1 September.
The UN Security Council will then try to push for a fresh resolution authorising military action. This will almost certainly be blocked by Russia and China.
At some point next week, perhaps as early as Monday or Tuesday, the House of Commons may hold a second debate on Syria, based on the findings of the weapons inspectors.
The British parliament sits for two weeks from Monday, before breaking for the party conference season.
Any further debate on Syria is therefore likely to take place before Friday 13 September.
It's worth remembering that David Cameron has the power to launch an attack whether or not it has been approved by the UK parliament.
Meanwhile President Obama may decide to go ahead with a military strike alone, or in alliance with France.
If so, it is likely this will happen before Tuesday, when the president is due to leave the US to begin a foreign trip.
It is also unlikely that any action will take place immediately before or during a two-day G20 leaders' summit in Russia, scheduled to start on Thursday 5 September.
The action would probably involve the firing of missiles at military sites within Syria believed to be involved in the production and distribution of chemical weapons.
Where does it leave Cameron and Miliband?The defeat was an enormous blow to the credibility of the prime minister, in parliament and on the international stage. The last time the government lost a vote on an issue of war was 1782.
He will be furious but also may be forced to be more cautious in his policies and try harder to appease the rebels in his party who have shown willingness to vote against him on a whole range of issues.
As for Ed Miliband, he can claim to have stood up for the British people with MSN polls suggesting almost three quarters of the public opposed military action.
He will also have bolstered his shaky authority among his own MPs who will have seen him stand up and win against Mr Cameron. For him that will be worth the significant damage to his relations with the government