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'Parliament Must Have Right to Declare War - ' says local MP

August 16, 2005 1:04 PM
Paul Rowen MP.

Paul Rowen MP.

Local campaigners from national democracy campaign group Charter88 have thanked local MP Paul Rowen for signing an Early Day Motion calling for a law that would require parliament's approval for the use of the country's armed forces, by making the Government obtain Parliament's authority to go to war.

The Prime Minister can currently go to war without the House of Commons's support by using the Royal Prerogative. Britain contrasts with other developed democracies such as the US in that its Parliament does not have a formal say in the use of armed forces, surveys have shown that the vast majority of people feel this must change.

A Private Members' Bill is currently going through parliament to make this law, promoted by the Rt Hon Clare Short MP and backed by a cross-party team of Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke MP, The Rt Hon William Hague MP, the Rt Hon Sir Menzies Campbell MP and Cllr. Paul Rowen MP but the Government has not yet declared its support.

Charter88 Local Group co-ordinator Ron Bailey said "It's great that Mr Rowen takes this issue seriously. The next stage for the Bill is its second reading on Friday 11th October, and we hope that he'll be in Parliament on the day to stand up for the rights of parliament and Democracy.

Paul Rowen MP said "The Royal Prerogative is a relic of the past: in a parliamentary democracy parliament must have the legal right to sanction the use of armed force by this country. There is no decision more important: it can result in our fellow citizens being killed: it is truly a matter for parliament and I will do all I can to ensure that this Bill becomes law'