COMMONS

Parliament’s role in conflict decisions: an update

Inquiry status - Report published Thursday 27 March 2014, awaiting Government Reponse

In March 2011 the Government acknowledged that a convention had developed that the House of Commons should have the opportunity to debate conflict decisions before troops are committed abroad, except when there is an emergency and this would not be possible. The Foreign Secretary, Rt Hon William Hague MP, went further, stating that the Government would "enshrine in law for the future the necessity of consulting Parliament on military action".

The Political and Constitutional Reform Committee has since produced five Reports which have welcomed the Government’s commitment to formalising Parliament’s role in conflict decisions, and called for a draft House resolution to be brought forward, setting out in more detail the process that should be followed for consulting the House on the use of armed force. The Committee’s latest Report on this subject included a draft House resolution, setting out the process the Committee believe should be followed to consult the House on the use of armed force, and called on the Government to make a clear statement on how it intended to honour the Foreign Secretary’s commitment to "enshrine in law for the future the necessity of consulting Parliament on military action".

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