The British public has rejected a fresh Syria intervention, according to a new poll released by the Leave.EU campaign. Asked if they thought military action against ISIS makes Britain more or less safe, 57 per cent of people said it made the country less safe, with just 18 per cent believing that strikes on ISIS make Britain safer.
The news comes as France has taken the extraordinary step of invoking a little-known article in the European Union’s (EU) Lisbon Treaty. Article 42.7 asserts that if a member of the EU is the victim of “armed aggression on its territory” other EU states have an “obligation of aid and assistance by all the means in their power.”
The French government made the demand from all EU member states yesterday, insisting that “France is at war” and stating that it “will be in contact bilaterally with member states in the coming hours and days to specify the support it requires.”
Just 15 per cent of people polled said, “The UK, like France, should independently launch airstrikes on IS targets in Syria immediately”. Fifty two per cent said: “The UK should engage with all countries to co-ordinate an appropriate response, military or otherwise, backed by United Nations resolution” while 12 per cent said: “The UK should assist in other ways which avoid any form of support for military action”.
Thirteen per cent of people said: “The UK should stay out of this situation completely”.
The Survation poll also found that a majority of people believe that such a decision should be put to the British parliament first.
Fifty-five per cent of people said: “The UK’s response to the terrorist incidents in France should need to be put before parliament so that MPs can debate and vote on the best course of action” while 31 per cent disagreed.
According to POLITICO, Article 42.7 “was originally included in the Treaty on the insistence of Greece, which wanted to have some kind of collective defense protection outside of NATO because Turkey, its biggest military adversary, is also covered by NATO but not an EU member.”