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Syria crisis: Chancellor George Osborne rules out fresh attempt to win support for military action

PRIME Minister David Cameron will not make a renewed attempt to persuade MPs to support military action against Syria even in the face of a wave of fresh chemical weapons attacks or new evidence, the Chancellor indicated this morning.

The prospect of Parliament revisiting the issue was raised last night following US President Barack Obama's announcement that he is seeking congressional support for a punishment strike on Bashar Assad's regime.

George Osborne

George Osborne insisted today that "Parliament has spoken" and suggested that even if the facts changed Britain will not deploy military force.

He told BBC 1's Andrew Marr show: "I think Parliament has spoken. I think the Labour party will always play this opportunistically.

"The Conservative MPs, and there were Liberal Democrats, who couldn't support us, they have a deep scepticism about military involvement and I don't think another UN report, or whatever, would make the difference.

"Of course I wanted us to be part of a potential military response. Now that is just not going to be open to us now because the House of Commons has spoken."

Mr Osborne insisted the country would not think less of the Prime Minister following the Commons defeat, which was unprecedent on a matter of military action in modern times.

The Chancellor defended the whipping operation carried out in the run up to the vote amid claims it was rushed and shambolic, claiming a number of "sceptical" MPs had been persuaded to back the government on Thursday.

"What was clear is there is a lot of scepticism out there," he told Andrew Marr. "So it's not about the whipping or the division bell, it's about trying to win an argument in the country, in our parliament and trying to do this in a way, frankly different, from ten years ago with the Iraq war."

Britain's "special relationship" with the US has come under scrutiny after the vote left President Obama looking to France for support.

The US president's decision to echo Mr Cameron last night by seeking a domestic political mandate before launching a strike and his public declaration that Britain was America's "closest ally" was viewed as a sign that relations remain on track.

Asked whether that had provided cover for the government, Mr Osborne said: "I'm not particularly embarrassed and I'm not looking for political cover. What I'm looking is for an outcome that's going to stop the use of chemical weapons and I think what Barack Obama has done is consistent with our set of decisions, which is you have got take the country with us."

He added: "I think it would be very sad if we turned our back on the world and I'm absolutely determined that we don't."

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Mr Osborne said the decision to go to parliament for support "shows a confidence" in government to set out its case.

He added: "If you don't win you argument, so be it. I don't think the country's going to think less of this government or less of David Cameron because he has the confidence to make a principled argument to his parliament."

The Chancellor lashed out at Labour leader Ed Miliband over his decision to oppose the government.

"I think Ed Miliband looks a bit less like a Prime Minister even than he did a few weeks ago," he said.

Anthony-Claret Onwutalobi
Anthony-Claret Onwutalobi
Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC and CEO of Portia Web Solutions. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
https://www.codewit.com

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