On Monday, Corbyn apparently attempted to compel party members to vote against military action in line with his own stance on the issue but after what FT described as a “fraught meeting”, the Labour leader bowed to internal pressure and conceded that MPs would be allowed to vote as they choose. Additionally, Corbyn abandoned the idea of setting an official policy of opposing air strikes no matter how party members voted after Andy Burnham, shadow home secretary, said that was “unacceptable”. Here’s where Corbyn’s shadow cabinet stands:
- Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour party
- John McDonnell, shadow chancellor
- Jon Trickett, shadow communities secretary
- Diane Abbott, shadow international development secretary
- Ian Murray, shadow Scotland secretary
- John Cryer, chairman of the parliamentary Labour party
- Nia Griffith, shadow wales secretary
- Tom Watson, deputy leader (who has asked Cameron to delay the vote pending proof that there are actually 70,000 moderate rebels on the ground)
- Angela Eagle, shadow first secretary of state and shadow business secretary
- Hilary Benn, shadow foreign secretary
- Heidi Alexander, shadow health secretary
- Lucy Powell, shadow education secretary
- Chris Bryant, shadow leader of the house of commons
- Vernon Coaker, shadow northern Ireland secretary
- Michael Dugher, shadow culture secretary
With that, the stage is set for Britain to join the fray. As FT goes on to note, Corbyn’s concession to his divided party “effectively guarantees that [David Cameron] can secure a Commons majority for war.” British military action could start “within days” as the PM “reacted quickly to Corbyn’s capitulation, announcing after he returned from the Paris climate summit that he would recommend to the cabinet on Tuesday that a one-day debate and vote on military intervention in Syria be held on Wednesday.”
With the vote thus set, “RAF crews could be bombing the Isis headquarters in Raqqa by the end of the week,”The Guardian says. On Tuesday, Cameron said “the decision to take military action is one of the most serious a prime minister can make. Isis poses a very direct threat to the United Kingdom – and as we have already seen in Iraq, British airstrikes can play a key role in degrading them; but they are only part of a comprehensive strategy for Syria.
But that’s not all. Germany is now set to enter the fight as well. “German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Cabinet approved deploying warplanes over Syria in the fight against Islamic State,” Bloomberg reported on Tuesday. Apparently, Berlin is set to send Tornado surveillance planes, a frigate to protect France’s carrier, and aerial refueling for French fighter jets.
Parliament will need to approve the deployment and a vote is expected within days. All told, around 1,200 German troops are expected to participate. This should do wonders when it comes to stemming the flow of refugees into Germany because as France explained earlier this year, by far the best way to solve a refugee crisis is to drop more bombs on the place from which the refugees are fleeing.