May Convenes Cabinet To Approve Airstrikes - But The Public Are Against It
Theresa May has convened the cabinet in a special session today to seek approval to follow Donald Trump’s lead in launching coordinated airstrikes in retaliation for the use of chemical weapons in Syria. But YouGov polling reveals the move to be vastly unpopular with the public, with those expressing an opinion opposing it two to one.
Jeremy Corbyn has demanded that parliament be given a vote on the use of military force. Though Theresa May is under no legal obligation to do so, going to war without parliamentary approval would break firmly established precedent. The convention was established in 2003 by Tony Blair, when he sought parliamentary approval for the invasion of Iraq, and has been followed by every Prime Minister since - even when that lead to defeat. Jeremy Corbyn wants this convention written into law.
The Labour leader has also warned of a potential ‘hot war’ between the United States and Russia, who are backing the Syrian government. It seems the public are equally wary. Opposition to a ground war is even stronger, with almost three to one opposed.
The SNP have also come out against air strikes, but have promised to support all actions short of military intervention. The Liberal Democrats, in typical fashion, have called for a parliamentary vote on the matter, but have not ruled out lending their support for military action. Vince Cable is no Charles Kennedy. The parliamentary arithmetic indicates that May could win a vote in the House of Commons, but she is probably avoiding it because of indications that several Tory MPs could vote against the government.