On the one hand, the British public, clearly sceptical of intervention in Syria, had their voices heard. Last night was, however, also a profoundly bitter moment because of what it says to the world about the morality of the British people. Is it not ironic and tragic to be celebrating the triumph of democracy and freedom of speech through ignoring the cries of the Syrian people for exactly the same rights?
For over two years now, European policymakers have struggled to provide a coherent response to the convulsion of violence that has befallen Syria. As with Libya in 2011, much of the debate has centred on the question of what role European states should play in protecting vulnerable civilians beyond our borders.