‘The exercise of the Royal prerogative bythe Government to deploy armed force overseas is outdated and should not beallowed to continue as the basis for legitimate war-making in our 21st centurydemocracy.’ M00536987Saoirse WalshPublic LawWord Count: 914 Under the Royal prerogativepowers, the Government can declare war and deploy armed forces to conflictsabroad without the backing or consent of Parliament 1,however in 2003 the government agreed to allow the Parliament to have a say in weatheror not to deploy armed forces overseas but however in 2004 the House of Common’s public AdministrationSelect Committee, released a report on the Minister’s prerogativepowers stating that ‘anydecision to engage in armed conflict should be approved by Parliament, if notbefore military action then as soon as possible afterwards’2.
In the United Kingdom, there hasnot been any declaration of war since 1942 which was against Siam (Thailand),and extremely unlikely it is bound to happen to again. However armed forces stillget deployed overseas as allies, even though it may not even be considered aswar. Previously in the 19th century the British constitutional arrangementsfor the deployment of armed forces overseas have played an important role toprotect, promote and to even broaden Britain’s interests in maintaining poweracross Europe, although war may have been changed but military forces stillremain the same due to policy. As we can see there are two main factors toconsider which can influence the decision for the use of the deployment power,one side is more for more of a politicaland sometimes often moral obligation for deploying armed forces overseaswhereas if there was a crucial circumstances, often done in secret, that mustbe pressing security to act immediately for example destroying the Taliban inAfghanistan after 9/11 3. I do not believe that armedforces should be deployed over smaller matters unless war has been declared,because people have to make life changing and extremely drastic decisions whichwill affect them and their families lives forever because they are beingdeployed out to another country overseas to fight, with the ultimate aim ofkilling someone or even worse being killed themselves.
I think that the RoyalPrerogative should not have a complete and total decision over what happens tothe people and citizens of the United Kingdom when it comes to deploying armedforces. I think that the Royal Prerogative should be keeping the Parliament up todate and correctly informed with any progress of deployments and the duration timeof how long they will be gone for. I believe that the Government should beseeking the approval of Parliament if they are deciding to deploy Britishforces into potential or actual armed conflict, putting their lives in dangeroutside of the United Kingdom, “While the government which has taken it shouldbe required to explain and justify its decision to Parliament and to thepeople, the decision itself should not be dictated by the immediate views andreactions of Parliament or of the people” 4Ithas previously been proposed that the best way to establish a legitimate sourceof authority for the deployment of armed forces would have to be ‘for Parliament topass a law saying that all of the prerogative powers of war-making are now transferredto the Prime Minister’5. “the use of military force is soimportant, it is a unique capability where the state authorizes the use oflethal force … that Parliament must necessarily take a view on when and whereit is used, if it is to be used”6, there is a lot of major consequenceswhen it comes to big decisions like deploying armed forces, because it affectsand disrupts countries and citizens involved, so it should only be necessary todo so in deploying them as there are many devastating consequences linked towar and armed conflict.
Since the Prime Minister alreadyhas that power under the Royal Prerogative, making the act to pass legislation wouldbe essentially making the Parliament the locus of authority. However the legislationthat would have been passed, would not have aided or made Parliament moreinvolved in the process of the deployment power, but it would massively help tochange the constitutional basis and also bringing in the possibility of newfuture change if Parliament decide so. In conclusion I think that the Parliamentshould have a say in deploying armed forces overseas, because the RoyalPrerogative having total power to deploy armed forces overseas is extremelyoutdated and can lead to unnecessary legitimate war making outside of theUnited Kingdom, causing a lot of chaos to the United Kingdom and to the peopleof the armed forces who work first hand in it. I believe there should be somesort of system in place so that Parliament can be informed by the Governmentwhen they are going to decide to deploy armed forces overseas, they should alsobe informed when they are coming back, the duration for how long they will begone. I think they should be informed on all aspects of what is going on. https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200506/ldselect/ldconst/236/236i.pdfhttp://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/09ba669d-758c-4a6a-827c-89c80e28a8971 Waging War: Parliament’s role and responsibilityVolume One, 19 July 2006, HL 5 2 Taming the Prerogative:Strengthening Ministerial Accountability to Parliament, Fourth Report, Session2003-04, 16 March 2004, HC 4223 Waging War: Parliament’s role and reasonabilityVolume one, 19 July 2006, HL 124 Volume II:Evidence, page 214; also see Sebastian Payne, Volume II: Evidence, page 1175 Waging War:Parliaments Role and responsibility, Volume One, 19th July 2006, HL276 Lord Garden, Volume II: Evidence, Q 110