Syria and the Use of Chemical Weapons — 29 Aug 2013 at 21:41

The majority of MPs voted against requiring conditions, including a vote of the UN Security Council, be fulfilled before any military action involving UK forces in response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

Had it been accepted this motion would have replaced one which included the statement: "every effort should be made to secure a Security Council Resolution backing military action before any such action is taken".

The text of the rejected amendment, which would have replaced the original motion, stated:

  • leave out from ‘House’ to end and add—
  • "expresses its revulsion at the killing of hundreds of civilians in Ghutah, Syria on 21 August 2013;
  • believes that this was a moral outrage;
  • recalls the importance of upholding the worldwide prohibition on the use of chemical weapons;
  • makes clear that the use of chemical weapons is a grave breach of international law;
  • agrees with the UN Secretary General that the UN weapons inspectors must be able to report to the UN Security Council and that the Security Council must live up to its responsibilities to protect civilians;
  • supports steps to provide humanitarian protection to the people of Syria but
  • will only support military action involving UK forces if and when the following conditions have been met that:
  • (a) the UN weapons inspectors, upon the conclusion of their mission in the Eastern Ghutah, are given the necessary opportunity to make a report to the Security Council on the evidence and their findings, and confirmation by them that chemical weapons have been used in Syria;
  • (b) compelling evidence is produced that the Syrian regime was responsible for the use of these weapons;
  • (c) the UN Security Council has considered and voted on this matter in the light of the reports of the weapons inspectors and the evidence submitted;
  • (d) there is a clear legal basis in international law for taking collective military action to protect the Syrian people on humanitarian grounds;
  • (e) such action must have regard to the potential consequences in the region, and must therefore be legal, proportionate, time-limited and have precise and achievable objectives designed to deter the future use of prohibited chemical weapons in Syria; and
  • (f) the Prime Minister reports further to the House on the achievement of these conditions so that the House can vote on UK participation in such action, and that any such vote should relate solely to efforts to deter the use of chemical weapons and does not sanction any wider action in Syria.’.

See also the subsequent vote on the unamended motion

Debate in Parliament | Source |

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Party Summary

Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.

What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.

What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.

What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.

PartyMajority (No)Minority (Aye)BothTurnout
Alliance1 00100.0%
Con273 (+2 tell) 0090.2%
DUP0 4050.0%
Independent2 00100.0%
Lab6 207 (+2 tell)083.3%
LDem47 0083.9%
PC0 30100.0%
SDLP3 00100.0%
SNP0 60100.0%
Total:332 220086.6%

Rebel Voters - sorted by party

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible MP who could have voted in this division

Sort by: Name | Constituency | Party | Vote

Ronnie CampbellBlyth ValleyLabno
Jim FitzpatrickPoplar and LimehouseLabno
Stephen HepburnJarrowLab (minister)no
Siân JamesSwansea EastLab (minister)no
Grahame MorrisEasingtonLab (minister)no
Graham StringerBlackley and BroughtonLab (minister)no

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