The world is waking up to the news that Theresa May, Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron have agreed overnight to launch airstrikes in Syria.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May has claimed “The fact of this attack should surprise no-one” “We would have preferred an alternative path. But on this occasion there is none.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has described the airstrikes as “legally questionable” and says Parliament should have been consulted. While some MPs and former ministers have backed the strikes, many others have expressed ‘concerns’, especially that Parliament was not consulted on the strikes.
My first thoughts this morning are with service personnel called to action.
Syria’s use of chemical weapons is sickening – but the question that the PM has not answered is how this action, taken without parliamentary approval, will halt their use or bring long term peace. #Syria https://t.co/pOFni9LC7Q
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) April 14, 2018
Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable has expressed his concerns over the lack of parliamentary approval:
“Riding the coattails of an erratic US President is no substitute for a mandate from the House of Commons.”
“The Prime Minister could and should have recalled Parliament this week and sought the approval of MPs before proceeding.”
“Liberal Democrats stood ready to assess the evidence and objectives for any action and, if it were properly planned and justified, to support a military response.”
“At this moment our thoughts are with British and allied troops.”
“But the Government’s decision fatally undermines the integrity of this mission. “
“It shows a weak Government putting short term political expediency before democracy and in so doing further diminishing the standing of Britain in the world.”
Syria has condemned the joint military action as ‘brutal’ and ‘barbaric.’ It is thought at least 3 civilians were injured during the strikes. Loud explosions and heavy smoke were reported in Damascus. Russia has warned of ‘consequences’ after the air strikes, saying all responsibility rests with Washington, London and Paris.
US President Trump announced the strikes in a live address:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 14, 2018
UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said all UK forces returned from Syria safely following the strikes. 4 RAF jets were launched from Cyprus. Theresa May announced the strikes in a statement:
— UK Prime Minister (@10DowningStreet) April 14, 2018
More follows… – Stay tuned to @speakerpolitics and speakerpolitics.co.uk for updates