Legal basis for British strikes in Syria debatable - opposition leader

Legal basis for British strikes in Syria debatable - opposition leader

Legal basis for British strikes in Syria debatable - opposition leader

Speaking on BBC One's Andrew Marr Show, the Labour leader repeated his assertion that the bombing raids launched by the United Kingdom early on Saturday morning, in cooperation with the U.S. and France, may have been illegal.

Mr Corbyn told BBC One's The Andrew Marr Show he wanted further proof.

Corbyn said Parliament should have been given a vote on the strikes, and called for a "War Powers Act" to set out the process by which the government can launch military action.

And Britain should press for an independent UN-led investigation of last weekend's horrific chemical weapons attack so that those responsible can be held to account.

However, Corbyn today said he wants to see "incontrovertible evidence" the nerve agent was used by Russian Federation before asserting it, in spite of his colleague John McDonnell last month saying all the evidence points to Russian Federation.

But Mr Corbyn said military action was unlikely to solve the situation.

She told ITV's Peston On Sunday: 'We think that it should be in law that there should be a vote in Parliament before we take military action.

Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry said taking military action against the Assad regime had been the "wrong thing to do".

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Inspectors at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) confirmed on Thursday that the toxin used in the assault was Novichok - a military grade nerve agent developed by Russian Federation in the 1980s.

"She could have recalled Parliament last week or she could have delayed until tomorrow when Parliament returns itself", he said.

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon described the legal position as "thin", while BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg noted that the United Kingdom is one of the few countries that tries to use humanitarian arguments to justify military action and most global lawyers don't accept the contention. "It's never pointless calling for that, anything that brings a cessation of the use of chemical weapons moves us nearer, if not totally to, a ceasefire and a reopening of the Geneva talks which has got to be the right way forward", he said.

But 46% still believed she was better than Mr Corbyn on dealing with an global crisis, with just 26% backing the Labour leader.

Downing Street said ministers at a cabinet meeting agreed that the use of chemical weapons must not "go unchallenged".

Earlier on Friday, Corbyn also accused May's government of "waiting for instructions" from the USA on how to proceed in the Syrian crisis, but that Donald Trump was giving "alarmingly contradictory signals".

Ian Austin mocked his leader's suggestion, writing on Twitter: "Does anyone seriously think Putin will say 'thanks for the sample".

Legal advice published by the government on Saturday argued that in exceptional circumstances governments can take military action "in order to alleviate overwhelming humanitarian suffering".

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