Government can use Royal Prerogative, but case for action must be made clearly in arrears to Parliament including its legality.

Crispin Blunt MP co-authored a paper on how Britain should respond to chemical attacks in Syria, in July of last year, which recommended a preauthorisation resolution.

Mr Blunt said:

“The British Government is free to exercise its Royal Prerogative concerning any action in Syria, It must expect to make its case in arrears to Parliament. This could have been avoided with a preauthorisation resolution.

“The general issues to be addressed by the government to justify action could have been debated. These were examined in my ECFR paper of 4 July last year.”

“Legality is a key issue and I recommend the UK Government declassify its own intelligence assessment, as our French counterparts have done previously. Whilst understanding of the limits of how far the intelligence services can make their case in the open, the public through Parliament has a right to ask for a more thorough explanation for the basis of their Government’s assessment.”

“The Government should address questions about the threshold for military action, the intelligence implicating those responsible for the use of chemical weapons, the legality of the proposed action, the limitations of the military action, and the wider strategy for UK policy in Syria.”

“Deterring the use of chemical weapons is a clear priority for the international community, but that 2013 mechanisms for suppressing their use in Syria has not resulted in their elimination.

The continued use of chemical weapons is a norm that has a dangerous wider impact on international security, and the government should be able to sustain a case for participation in a limited punitive military strike.”