Proposals to bomb Syria have hit some serious turbulence. While the prime minister moves towards launching airstrikes, the public sees things differently. By almost two to one, British people oppose bombing Syria, according to a survey by YouGov released on 12 April.
Dozens of people reportedly died after an alleged chemical weapon attack on the Syrian city of Douma. 43% of people oppose airstrikes on the Syrian military in response, while under a quarter (22%) support the action. 34% don’t know.
But that doesn’t mean people think the Syrian government wasn’t responsible. 61% believe “there probably was an attack carried out using chemical weapons by Syrian government forces or their allies”. Only 5% adhere to the Russian version of events that there probably wasn’t a chemical attack and the claims are “fabrications”. 29% selected “don’t know” and 5% chose “something else happened”.
Still, the public doesn’t appear to think that airstrikes are an appropriate response.
Under British law, the prime minister doesn’t need to put bombing Syria to a Commons vote. Although that has become customary since Tony Blair asked MPs for approval before the Iraq war. And May is under pressure to do the same.
Jeremy Corbyn said parliament should “always be given a say” on military action. It’s unclear whether the prime minister would win such a vote. In a similar vein, Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas said there was “absolutely no way” May should take any military action without “a full debate and vote in Parliament”.
The views of MPs aside, the majority of people in Britain seem to oppose the airstrikes. That being the case, the proposals to bomb Syria are looking shaky at best.
We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support
The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.
The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.
So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.