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Maria Miller, James Arbuthnot and Sir George Young all voted for possible military action
ALL three north Hampshire MPs voted for possible military action against Syria.
Basingstoke MP Maria Miller, North East Hampshire MP James Arbuthnot, and North West Hampshire MP Sir George Young – all Conservatives – backed the Government’s attempt to win support for the principle of international military intervention against Syria.
The special recall of Parliament last Thursday was held in the wake of a suspected chemical weapons attack on the outskirts of the capital Damascus last month.
However, the Government’s motion, which called for “a strong humanitarian response from the international community” which may “require military action” was lost by 13 votes.
Mr Arbuthnot, who chairs the House of Commons defence select committee which scrutinises the work of the Ministry of Defence, was the only north Hampshire MP to speak in the debate.
He said he was initially opposed to military intervention against the ruling Syrian regime led President Bashar al-Assad.
“A couple of days ago. I expected to oppose the Government tonight,” he said to MPs. He later added: “I find this an exceptionally difficult issue. My constituents hate the idea of our getting involved in Syria, and so do I.”
However, he justified supporting the Government by warning of further illegal chemical attacks if there was no international response.
He said: “I believe that in order to stop the use of chemical weapons from becoming the norm, the world needs to act. The world, however, does not equal the United Kingdom.”
In a statement after the vote, Basingstoke MP and Culture Secretary Maria Miller expressed frustration at the outcome.
She said: “What has happened in Syria is an appalling war crime.
“We have to uphold the international taboo on the use of chemical weapons and deter their future use.
“The debate last week was not about going to war. Military action would have only been considered after the UN weapons inspectors report and after a further debate and vote in Parliament.
“It is in all of our interests to ensure we stand up against the use of chemical weapons. We cannot turn our heads and ignore what has happened.”
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