Anonymous troops with Union Jack CREDIT MoD
UK

Who Has The Right To Send British Military Personnel To War?

Members of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee have been discussing the topic.

Anonymous troops with Union Jack CREDIT MoD

(Picture: MOD).

Members of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee have been discussing who ultimately has the right to send British troops to war.

It is a prerogative power of the Queen, which in practice effectively means the Prime Minister makes the decision.

MPs have been considering the practice in light of recent times, including a vote by parliament in 2003 in favour of military action in Iraq.

During the discussion, Sebastian Payne from Kent University said:

"It's quite proper for Parliament to be given a vote on many instances, but I think it's for the Government to formulate [and] direct the policy.

"There may be circumstances in which governments have to act swiftly."

"Some people argue that... having Parliament involved confuses matters and almost contravenes the separation of powers," said Professor Gavin Philipson from the University of Bristol.

"The conduct of foreign policy and particularly military action is a classic executive function. The Government proposes the policy and... comes up with a plan.

"There's nothing inconsistent with Parliament having the right of veto over that [military] plan."