Major turning point for US-UK relations: British lawmaker
The U.K. Parliament's rejection of military action over Syria is a major turning point for British foreign policy, according to one lawmaker. The vote means Washington will no longer see the U.K. as a partner in future military conflicts, Brooks Newmark, a member of Parliament for the ruling Conservative Party, told CNBC on Friday.
"I think we've been seen there as a public ally for the U.S. And I think the U.S. now knows they can no longer rely on us militarily. I think we're a good ally when it comes to intelligence but not when it comes to military action," he said.
Newmark, who has just returned from the Syrian border and has met President Bashar Assad and the rebel commanders several times, said he has little doubt that the U.S. will effectively go it alone. He added that he feels "absolutely dreadful" after British Prime Minister David Cameron lost the vote on Thursday evening to endorse military action against Syria.
(Read more: UK parliament rejects military action against Syria)
"This is a humanitarian crisis of massive proportions where Assad has slaughtered a hundred thousand of his own people, gassed perhaps over a thousand of his own people. … I think we have let the Syrian people down dreadfully," Newmark said.
After seven hours of debate, lawmakers voted 285 to 272 against a government motion on military intervention in Syria. Speaking later, Cameron said he believed in the need for a tough response to the use of chemical weapons, but respected the will of parliament.
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The U.K. defence secretary confirmed on Thursday that the country would not take part in any military intervention but said he expected the U.S. and others to press on with a response to last week's alleged chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government on civilians. George Osborne, the U.K. finance minister, said Friday that talk of damaged ties between the U.K and the U.S. after the vote is "hyperbole".
"The relationship with the United States is a very old one, very deep and operates on many layers," he told the BBC.
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Meanwhile, President Barack Obama will decide on a response to Syria based on U.S. interests, the White House said on Thursday, but will continue to consult with Britain despite the no vote.
—By CNBC.com's Matt Clinch. Follow him on Twitter