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Corbyn calls for War Powers Act

16 April, 2018, 02:01 | Author: Priscilla Morrison

British opposition leader said on Saturday that Prime Minister should have sought approval from parliament before ordering cruise missile strikes against Syria.

The Labour leader criticised Theresa May for failing to recall Parliament before giving the go-ahead for British bombers to join the US-led air strikes on Syria.

"I think parliament should have a say in this, and the prime minister could quite easily have done that ..."

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon described the legal position as "thin", while BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg noted that the United Kingdom is one of the few countries that tries to use humanitarian arguments to justify military action and most global lawyers don't accept the contention.

Corbyn, who voted against United Kingdom military attacks on ISIS in 2014, said he could only countenance intervention in Syria if there was "UN authority behind it" and that taking action on humanitarian grounds alone was a "legally debatable concept".

"She could have recalled Parliament last week - it is only the Prime Minister who can recall Parliament - or she could have delayed until tomorrow when Parliament returns".

Mr Corbyn said the air strikes may have been illegal, despite the government's assertion that it was allowed under global law to take military action to alleviate overwhelming humanitarian suffering. "Finally the world has said, enough is enough".

"It's important that we understand the limits of what we are trying to do". This is not going to turn the tide of the conflict in Syria; one can hope it encourages the Russians to the negotiating table in Geneva, to get a political process properly going - but that is, as it were, an extra.

It said they all agreed with her on "the importance of restoring the global norm that the use of chemical weapons is never acceptable".

"The primary goal is to say no to the use of barbaric chemical weapons", he said.

The US has warned it is "locked and loaded" if Syria carries out fresh attacks on its people.

Boris Johnson has claimed denying state-sponsored involvement in the Salisbury attack shows a "blindness to reality" after Jeremy Corbyn called for further proof. Such an act could require the government to consult Parliament before taking military action.

Corbyn called for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to be given the chance to report on the incident and that Assad and "any other group" found to be responsible should be "confronted with evidence".

The Labour leader's critics have questioned the plausibility of achieving a diplomatic solution, particularly one backed by the UN Security Council, in which Russian Federation has repeatedly used its veto in defence of the Syrian regime.

Corbyn sent a letter to British Prime Minister Theresa May Saturday criticizing her decision to join the coordinated unilateral attack before global inspectors even had the chance to begin their probe into the alleged chemical attack by the Syrian government.

He added: "it can be done. It's hard work and it takes patience, but surely that is better than the escalation of this into a proxy war", the Labour leader added.



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