U.K.’s Hague Says Further Lawmaker Vote on Syria Action Possible

U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague said Parliament may be asked to vote again on attacking Syria if circumstances there change.

While Prime Minister David Cameron’s government accepts the House of Commons’ Aug. 29 decision to block U.K. involvement in military action, it will continue to pressure Assad, Hague said in an interview with BBC TV.

“Parliament has spoken so we’re not planning to go back again,” Hague said in an interview on the Andrew Marr show. “But if circumstances change dramatically, of course everybody will be looking at things in a different light.”

Cameron led the international drive for military strikes against the Syrian government following reports it used chemical weapons in an Aug. 21 attack near Damascus, then was forced to back down after failing to persuade enough allies and the Labour opposition to support action.

Cameron has been “left on the sidelines” in the international community and the U.K. is “diminished in the world” as a result of the vote, former Defense Secretary Liam Fox said in an interview with the Sunday Telegraph newspaper today.

A poll by ICM Research Ltd. for the Sunday Telegraph found 19 percent of voters favor military action while 46 percent oppose a further vote even if the Syrian government is proved to be behind the attacks.

“There is a lot of public unease about intervention overseas, you hear it if you go talking to people around the country,” Hague said. “To that I say be reassured, we have learned the lessons of Iraq, we are not seeking to be drawn into wars in the Middle East, we now make decisions in a completely different way.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Penny in London at tpenny@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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