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No appetite for Syria attack - MPs
7:43am Tuesday 3rd September 2013 in News
WARRINGTON South MP David Mowat says the Government would have faced a heavy defeat had it attempted to push for immediate military action in Syria.
The Conservative MP voted in favour of a watered down Government motion condemning the acts of Syrian leaders when Parliament was recalled four days early to discuss the matter.
But speaking afterwards he said: “Frankly, the closeness of the "condemnation in principle" votes last night disguised what would have been a very big defeat had we been asked to authorize actual intervention.
“The Prime Minister understands this which is why it will not return to Parliament.
"The House of Commons took a pragmatic view of Britain's position in the world last night and in many ways that is the biggest and most lasting point to emerge from all this.”
Warrington North MP Helen Jones voted against the Government motion, but backed her own Labour Party’s motion calling for no action until reports were released from UN weapons inspectors.
Ms Jones said: “I have received a large post bag on this issue. Almost all of the letters, phone calls and e-mails have opposed UK involvement in Syria. “That was the view which prevailed in Parliament.
“The debate showed Parliament at its best with strong speeches from all sides of the argument. The use of chemical weapons is quite clearly an abomination.
“However I felt, as did my Labour colleagues, that we could not back the Government’s motion because we believed that evidence should precede decision and not the other way around.”
Mr Mowat praised the Prime Minister David Cameron’s actions in calling for the early vote.
"The Prime Minister made a principled stand that we should not tolerate the use of chemical weapons,” he added. “Some will agree, some will disagree, but he had the courage to stand up and make the case for what he thought was right.
"However, there was no appetite in the House of Commons to get involved in what is a horrific civil war.”
The debate on Thursday also saw Ms Jones question the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg on whether British bases would be used for any future military assault by other countries.
“Unfortunately I received no clear answer,” she added.
We now need calm and measured leadership on this very difficult issue with the focus being moved to the upcoming G20 where a renewed diplomatic, political and humanitarian effort must be made to ease the suffering and help end the conflict in Syria.”
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