British Parliament Won’t Be Allowed to Vote on Libya War

Letting MPs Vote Would 'Tie Hands' of Future Govts

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond today confirmed that the British government intends to send ground troops to Libya to join an international coalition invasion, and has no intention of asking the parliament to vote on the matter.

Parliament has been a thorn in the Cameron government’s side in previous interventions, barring them from participating in an ultimately scrapped 2013 US invasion of Syria, and seeking to limit their involvement in the subsequent US air war in Syria, though they finally authorized it in December of 2015.

This time, British officials are just going to lie outright, label all the commandos “trainers,” and insist that 1,000 combat troops aren’t a war that needs parliamentary authorization. Officials also refused to provide any guarantee of a future vote if the war escalates further, with the Defense Secretary saying any requirement to seek legal authorization to send more troops would “tie the hands” of future governments.

The government further insisted that it doesn’t really consider itself bound to the law requiring them to only launch wars with parliamentary support, saying that the Prime Minister needs to be able to act without being “artificially constrained” by things like the law.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.