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May faces criticism in UK parliament over Syria strikes

17 April 2018

The British government is not legally bound to seek Parliament's approval for military strikes, although it is customary to do so, and many lawmakers expressed anger that they were not consulted.

British Prime Minister Theresa May's office said on Monday that she would meet her Caribbean counterparts in London for the Commonwealth summit to discuss the situation of long-term United Kingdom residents who say they have been threatened with deportation to their countries of birth.

The Russian representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Alexander Shulguin, pointed out that his country has irrefutable evidence that London was behind the dramatization of the aforementioned attack, with which they justified an aggression against Syria.

"The targets of this malicious cyber activity are primarily government and private-sector organisations, critical infrastructure providers and the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) supporting these sectors", the statement said.

Ms May faced down her domestic critics as France's Prime Minister defended the "proportionate" response to the use of chemical weapons.

Despite winning worldwide backing, May, who has weathered questions over her leadership due to Brexit and party scandals, has a precarious position in parliament after losing the Conservatives' majority in an ill-judged election in June.

Jeremy Corbyn has accused Ms May of blindly following the orders of Donald Trump.

Corbyn drew jeers and shouts for his taunt that May had acted to please Trump.

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Much of the criticism will come from opposition lawmakers, but the prime minister may also have to work hard to defend her speed of action to members of her own Conservative Party who had wanted parliament recalled.

That's despite the convention, and it is only a convention not a firm rule, that governments ask Parliament for its consent before taking military action.

Caroline Lucas, the Green Party's co-leader, said: "We will do everything we can in Parliament for a people's vote".

That prompted calls for future debates on Syria. Remember in the last couple of days she and her colleagues have been agonisingly careful to emphasise again and again that the strikes were tightly limited and specific in objective.

Corbyn won approval for a debate on parliament's rights in regard to British military action on Tuesday, and parliament debated long into the evening on Monday on the government's strategy in Syria, particularly regarding civilians there.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair's legacy was tainted by his decision to join the war against Iraq, especially after an inquiry concluded that the decision was based on flawed intelligence, while her predecessor, David Cameron, was damaged after losing a vote for strikes against Syria in 2013.

According to the Survation poll conducted for Mail on Sunday, 36 percent of Britons supported the attacks, while 24 percent of respondents were undecided.

Speaking on Sky News, the fantasy fiction actor said that the greatest political mandate in British history was a "false one" fed on "lies" which "created an atmosphere that was toxic", and that comic book character Charles Xavier and Star Trek's Captain Jean-Luc Picard, both fictional personae Stewart has played, would have backed remaining in the European Union. And if Theresa May wants to take similar action again if more horrendous events take place - when MPs are not away - she might not be able to do the same again without their backing.

May faces criticism in UK parliament over Syria strikes