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Apr 10th, 2018

Syria: Parliament should have a say

By Becca McCarthy

The UK could be on the verge of war. The crisis in Syria is at boiling point, and our government is deciding whether to launch an military attack. [1] But right now, it’s rumoured that Theresa May wants to make a decision without giving parliament a vote – meaning us, the public, will be shut out too. [2]

At 3.30pm this afternoon, top government ministers (the cabinet) are having an emergency meeting where they’ll decide what to do – and whether our MPs will get a vote. [3] If we want all of our MPs to have a say on this, we have to bring our voices into the room, and we have to do it fast.

A stream of messages from the public – that’s us – could be enough to persuade the cabinet to give our MPs a vote on whether we should go to war. Twitter is the quickest way to get our messages heard: it’s a direct line to the cabient ministers.

Decisions this big need to be decided by *all* of the MPs elected to represent us – not by a group of just 22 people. So, will you tweet the Cabinet to ask for a vote on Syria now? 

Or, if you don’t use twitter, you can write a short message which the 38 Degrees staff team can tweet to the cabinet on your behalf.

Our MPs represent us. When they’re locked out of decisions as important and serious as this one, it means we are too. Our democracy works better when more of us are involved. And that means that if MPs are given a vote on what to do about the crisis in Syria, we – the public – can have our say too.

The civil war in Syria has seen devastating violence. [4] Half a million people have been killed. [5] Millions of people have been forced out of their homes, children have grown up knowing nothing but conflict, and families have been torn apart. [6] And now it’s being reported that forces fighting for President Assad have dropped chemical weapons like chlorine gas on cities full of desperate people. [7]

Now, the USA, UK and France are deciding whether to take military action in response to the suspected chemical attack. [8] It’s a controversial decision. Some people say we have to take action against the use of chemical weapons. But others say that going to war in Syria will only make things worse for the people who live there. [9]

There are millions of us receiving this email, and we might not all agree on whether we should go to war or not. But everyone who’s part of 38 Degrees believes in democracy. This decision should be made by *all* the MPs we vote to represent us – not a group of just 22 people.

[1] The Guardian: US, France and Britain agree to respond to Syrian gas attack:
BBC News: Syria war: What we know about Douma ‘chemical attack’:
BBC News: Syria war: Trump says missiles ‘will be coming’:
[2] Financial Times: Theresa May urged to back Syria attack without vote in parliament:
The Guardian: David Davis: world has to act on horrific situation in Syria:
BBC News: Syria: the story of the conflict:
[3] BBC News: Theresa May summons Cabinet to discuss Syria military action:
[4] BBC News: Guide: Syria Crisis:
[5] Human Rights Watch: World Report 2016:
[6] The Guardian: Conflict and development + Syria:
[7] BBC News: Syria war: What we know about Douma ‘chemical attack’:
[8] See note [1]
[9] Some people think that chemical weapons are a red line that we have to respond to:
Washington Post: Like Obama, Macron said chemical weapons were his ‘red line’ in Syria. So now what?:
Others think getting involved in Syria could make it worse:
The Guardian: Only Assad’s victory will end Syria’s civil war. The west can do nothing:


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