Britain’s role at the world’s stage has been rattled following one of the biggest foreign policy defeats Prime Minister David Cameron suffered by failing to secure MPs’ support for military intervention in Syria.
Lawmakers at the House of Commons voted late Thursday against a government motion on the principle of intervening in Syria militarily. Britain, U.S. and certain European governments have claimed that the government of President Bashar al Assad was responsible for a deadly chemical attack on its own people on August 21 that killed hundreds of civilians. David Cameron’s defeat marked the dawn of an era of isolationism for Britain. British public are sick of years of wars perpetrated by their successive governments in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world and they are demanding a less interventionist British foreign policy. "We may see the UK returning to a level of participation of intervention significantly less than it has been in the past couple of decades," said Malcolm Chalmers, director of research at London think tank Royal United Services Institute. He has served as an adviser to two Labour foreign secretaries. The parliamentary defeat was an unusual event in British politics, marking the first loss of a war-related vote by a British prime minister since at least the mid-nineteenth century, according to Philip Cowley at the University of Nottingham.