Past eventInvitation Only

The End of Intervention? Implications of the Syria Vote for UK Foreign Policy

6 May 2014 - 8:45am to 10:30am

Chatham House, London


Chair: Dr Robin Niblett, Director, Chatham House



With no end in sight to the conflict in Syria, and with a decade of foreign entanglements drawing to an end, this roundtable will consider the longer-term implications of the House of Commons vote in August 2013 for the UK’s future capacity to engage in military intervention.

  • To what extent did the parliamentary vote reflect the distinct circumstances of the Syria case, or a more general shift in popular and political attitudes toward intervention?  

  • Has the vote affected the way allies – particularly the US and France – view the UK’s international role? To what extent has it changed perceptions of Britain more broadly, including in Russia and the Middle East?

  • Under what circumstances could a British government legitimately deploy military force without Parliament’s consent? Has the vote created a constitutional convention requiring parliamentary approval before military action can be taken?