expresses its revulsion at the killing of hundreds of civilians in Ghutah, Syria on 21 August 2013; believes that this was a moral outrage; recalls the importance of upholding the worldwide prohibition on the use of chemical weapons; makes clear that the use of chemical weapons is a grave breach of international law; agrees with the UN Secretary General that the UN weapons inspectors must be able to report to the UN Security Council and that the Security Council must live up to its responsibilities to protect civilians; supports steps to provide humanitarian protection to the people of Syria but will only support military action involving UK forces if and when the following conditions have been met that:
(a) the UN weapons inspectors, upon the conclusion of their mission in the Eastern Ghutah, are given the necessary opportunity to make a report to the Security Council on the evidence and their findings, and confirmation by them that chemical weapons have been used in Syria;
(b) compelling evidence is produced that the Syrian regime was responsible for the use of these weapons;
(c) the UN Security Council has considered and voted on this matter in the light of the reports of the weapons inspectors and the evidence submitted;
(d) there is a clear legal basis in international law for taking collective military action to protect the Syrian people on humanitarian grounds;
(e) such action must have regard to the potential consequences in the region, and must therefore be legal, proportionate, time-limited and have precise and achievable objectives designed to deter the future use of prohibited chemical weapons in Syria; and
(f) the Prime Minister reports further to the House on the achievement of these conditions so that the House can vote on UK participation in such action, and that any such vote should relate solely to efforts to deter the use of chemical weapons and does not sanction any wider action in Syria.’.
There is not actually that much difference between Labour's amendment and the government motion. Both consider that there are circumstances in which military action may ensue.
Looking at the Two divisions on public whip
In favour 69 70 Alliance 0 0 Con 0 239 (+2 tell) DUP 4 0 Green 0 0 Ind 0 0 Lab 207 (+2) 0 LDem 0 31 PC 3 0 SDLP 0 0 SNP 6 0 Total: 220 (+2) 270 (+2)Hence a total of 490 MPs (+4 tellers) voted for a motion that did not rule out military action. Some MPs voted against both motions. Caroline Lucas oddly abstained on the Labour amendment, but voted against the Government Motion. I would have thought she would have voted against military action completely. Naomi Long and Sylvia Hermon, however, voted against both. Oddly enough only 6 Labour MPs voted entirely against the possibility of military action whilst 11 Lib Dems did and 30 Conservatives. (on the assumption that those who voted against the government motion also voted against Labour's amendment). I have not done the detailed work by MP, but would assume that the totals I have used from the summaries imply the details.
The media narrative, however, is different.