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Syria

Parliament has spoken and made clear that it doesn’t want British involvement in military action and we will respect that.

Our focus now will be on making the case internationally for a robust response to the use of chemical weapons by the regime and getting the world to unite behind bringing all sides together and achieving the political solution that is needed to end the conflict.

We will keep pushing the international community to do all we can to provide humanitarian assistance – leading by example with our largest ever aid package for a conflict (£348m).

Nick Clegg ensured the Government gave full backing to the UN. Nick has driven what has been the most open and consensual approach Government has ever taken to this debate, including taking part in a webinar with party members. He has been adamant that we need as broad a consensus as possible. But above all he is a democrat and whole-heartedly supports the will of Parliament.

Speaking on Monday, Nick Clegg said: “We were and still are completely convinced that it was the Assad regime that used chemical weapons in that eastern suburb of Damascus the week before last. We don’t need any further persuading of that, we accept that others might but we put our case as best we could in Parliament and they responded.

“There was widespread scepticism which I fully understand given the circumstances of 2003 and the invasion of Iraq, something I personally staunchly opposed. There was a fair amount of partisanship from Labour and in those circumstances we’re not going to ask Parliament the same question over and over again. We accept the will of Parliament and we live in a democracy where the executive can’t just act without the will of the people, and we’re not planning to do so.”

Humanitarian crisis

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has said that there are now a shocking 2m Syrian refugees and that the country is experiencing displacement unparalleled in recent history. The number has doubled in the last six months alone.

This is a stark reminder of the scale of the conflict and the millions of lives that are being destroyed at the hands of the Assad regime.

We will keep pushing the international community to do all we can to provide humanitarian assistance – leading by example with our largest ever aid package for a conflict (£348m).

The UK contribution to humanitarian situation thus far is £348m – more than the rest of the EU combined and second only to the US.

Mark A Williams, Chairperson of Chester Liberal Democrats said: “The crisis in Syria shows us the exactly why we have a foreign aid budget and also the absolute need for diplomacy”

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