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Osborne rules out Syria action
Prime Minister David Cameron will not make a renewed attempt to persuade MPs to support military action against Syria even in the face of a wave of fresh chemical weapons attacks or new evidence, the Chancellor has indicated.
The prospect of Parliament revisiting the issue was raised on Saturday night following US President Barack Obama's announcement that he is seeking congressional support for a punishment strike on Bashar Assad's regime.
George Osborne insisted that "Parliament has spoken" and suggested that even if the facts changed Britain will not deploy military force.
He told BBC 1's Andrew Marr show: "I think Parliament has spoken. I think the Labour party will always play this opportunistically.
"The Conservative MPs, and there were Liberal Democrats, who couldn't support us, they have a deep scepticism about military involvement and I don't think another UN report, or whatever, would make the difference. Of course I wanted us to be part of a potential military response. Now that is just not going to be open to us now because the House of Commons has spoken."
Britain's "special relationship" with the US has come under scrutiny after the vote left President Obama looking to France for support. The US president's decision to echo Mr Cameron by seeking a domestic political mandate before launching a strike and his public declaration that Britain was America's "closest ally" was viewed as a sign that relations remain on track.
Asked whether that had provided cover for the government, Mr Osborne said: "I'm not particularly embarrassed and I'm not looking for political cover. What I'm looking is for an outcome that's going to stop the use of chemical weapons and I think what Barack Obama has done is consistent with our set of decisions, which is you have got take the country with us." He added: "I think it would be very sad if we turned our back on the world and I'm absolutely determined that we don't."
Foreign Secretary William Hague he could see no "immediate possibility" of circumstances changing enough to secure support from Parliament. Mr Hague told Murnaghan on Sky News: "I don't think it's realistic to think that we can go back to parliament every week with the same question having received no for an answer.
"I think anybody looking at this objectively would see that in order for Parliament, in any circumstances, to come to a different conclusion then people would have to be more persuaded by the evidence and there is a great deal of evidence there. But I'm not sure that the extra evidence that the United States presented would have made a difference to those doubting the evidence in the House of Commons.
"The Labour leadership would have to play a less partisan and less opportunistic role and be prepared to take yes for an answer in terms of the motions that we present to the House of Commons. We had taken on board all the points that they had made before the debate on Thursday. So all those things would have to happen to get a different result in the House of Commons and I can't see any immediate possibility of that."