PMQs: Crisis abroad brings political unity at home

It takes a moment where the world stands on the brink of war for peace and unity to break out at home writes Daniel Wainwright.


For the first time in a long time, there were no cross words, no points scored, no partisan remarks thrown across the chamber between the party leaders today.

Indeed David Cameron and Ed Miliband appeared to have finally found something on which they can agree – that Russia’s actions in Ukraine are without justification and that there will be consequences.

What those consequences will be as far as the UK is concerned has been somewhat diminished after a bungling aide accidentally flashed a document outlining no plans for major trade sanctions in front of the powerful lenses of press photographers.

Labour leader Mr Miliband said: “Russia’s actions in surrounding Ukrainian military sites, violating sovereignty are without justification.” And the Prime Minister replied: “I agree that what Russia has done is completely unacceptable. We have a strong interest in a world where the rule of law is upheld and our aim is to deter further Russian military action. Action by the Russian government should be condemned by the whole world.”

Given the fragility of the situation there needed to be high level talks, Mr Miliband said. Again, the Prime Minister agreed and when Mr Miliband asked about trade sanctions Mr Cameron said: “ We need to be absolutely clear that the status quo today is unacceptable.”

He added. “Costs and consequences must follow. We have suspended preparations for G8 and withdrawn royal and ministerial visits to Sochi Paralympic Games.”

Mr Miliband wants to go further. “We should look at asset freezes and travel restrictions for individuals,” he said. There was no argument from the Prime Minister. “Nothing should be off the table,” he said

Mr Miliband said: “This is a delicate and dangerous moment. I can assure the Prime Minister the government will have our full support.”

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Comments for: "PMQs: Crisis abroad brings political unity at home"


I believe that the Prime Minister, who was relieved of his position, was democratically elected so why would the "west" support a group of unelected people. Crimea was, until 1954, part of Russia and Russian speaking. At that time the Ukraine was under Russian control but when the Russian empire collapsed the Ukraine, including Crimea, became free. More recently the non Russian speaking part of the Ukraine have tried to outlaw the teaching of the Russian language in schools in Ukraine. Think the politicians have only jumped on the band wagon to get their name in the papers. Belgium has a similar situation with French and Dutch speakers wonder what would happen if a decree was past banning the teaching of French in the schools. Give the Crimea back to the Russians and let the world roll on please.

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