23 Sep 2014

Commons to vote on IS attacks

Parliament could be recalled as soon as Friday for a vote on military action against Isil in their Iraqi and Syrian bases. The government is increasingly confident it has Labour on board.

Both main parties are convinced they have legal backing for the attacks because of the threat posed by Isil. They have the authority of the Iraqi government to act against Isil on their territory and sufficient grounds not to consult the Syrian government because of massive challenges to its authority.

David Cameron had been nervous about whether he could rely on Labour after the way its support for action against Syria over chemical weapons flaked away.

He’d been nervous about getting the words “British forces,” “attack” and “Iraq” in headlines at the same time as the last stages of the Scottish referendum. Many voters in Scotland cited the Iraq war of 2003 as one of their motivations in turning to independence.

Both those worries now seem to have been pretty well cleared. The British can join in military action and the vote in the Commons is not expected to produce much opposition at all.

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