The Prime Minister has put forward a compelling case to MPs, outlining why it was “legally and morally right” for the UK to join air strikes against the Syrian regime in order to alleviate human suffering and significantly reduce its ability to carry out such abhorrent attacks in the future.
Addressing the House of Commons, Theresa May said there was clear evidence that the Assad government was behind the dreadful chemical weapons attack in Douma, and stressed the UK had explored every diplomatic option but had concluded there was no practical alternative to what she called a limited and targeted strike.
The Prime Minister has been heavily criticised for sending British military personnel into action without UN approval or even parliamentary debate. The latter has caused disquiet among many MPs worried that it threatens to undermine the very democratic values that we espouse around the world.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn wants to see legislation brought in that would make it necessary for MPs to approve British military action in the future, and while it is right that Parliament should be involved in such profoundly important decisions wherever possible, there are occasions when it is not always practical to seek its approval and in these instances the Government has to be free to act in the nation’s best interests.
Sometimes military intervention, however unpalatable it may be, has to be an option. Simply doing nothing is not a viable diplomatic or strategic policy and it, too, can have serious consequences.
As the Prime Minister said, we cannot afford to live in a world where dictators and tyrants are able to use chemical weapons against innocent civilians and get away with it unchecked. That would be a dereliction of duty and a failure of humanity.