Syria: Where We Stand This Morning

This is where we stand this morning. Last night the PM and President Obama agreed in a phone call that there is “no doubt” that the Assad regime was responsible for the chemical weapons attacks in Syria last week. The US is set to release a declassified intelligence report that they say contains proof. This position, attributing responsibility to Assad, is accepted by the Arab League. The chief of defence staff Sir Nick Houghton is meeting with the National Security Council today to discuss military targets.

David Cameron last night said Britain “cannot stand idly by”, Nick Clegg says a failure to act would “set a very dangerous precedent”. Ed Miliband will consider supporting legal, limited action. William Hague outlines the case for intervention in today’s Telegraph:

“We cannot allow the use of chemical weapons in the 21st century to go unchallenged. That would send a signal to the Syrian regime that they will never face any consequences for their actions, no matter how barbarous. It would make further chemical attacks in Syria much more likely, and also increase the risk that these weapons could fall into the wrong hands in the future… Tomorrow, Parliament will have the opportunity to debate these issues, and to make its views known. This is a moment of grave danger for the people of Syria, a moment of truth for democratic nations to live up to their values, and a weighty test of the international community. The way ahead will not be without risks, but the risks of doing nothing are greater.”

The Sun has the first polling on Syria since last week’s attacks. With UKIP the only party against intervention, the findings are unsurprising:

Though then again Cameron was never doing this for the votes. Tough but necessary foreign policy interventions are never popular. Today MPs are flying back from their holidays and travelling to Westminster for tomorrow’s debate. There is only one story for the next few days…




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Quote of the Day

Philip Hammond uses a trip to Berlin to mock the Foreign Secretary:

“A compromise is the art of dividing a cake in such a way that everyone believes he has the biggest piece. Wise words with some applicability to the Brexit negotiations although I try to discourage talk of “cake” amongst my colleagues.”

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