Douglas Alexander MP, Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary, said:
“The EU-wide arms embargo has ended because agreement within the Member States could not be reached, and because significant disagreement remains about the merits of sending arms to Syria’s opposition.
“Russia’s announcement that it will send S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to President Assad further underlines the real risks of this conflict escalating into a regional war by proxy, leading to further suffering for the Syrian people.
“When he returns to Parliament to explain the collapse of the arms embargo, William Hague will face questions from MPs across the Commons who - like other European Member States - remain unconvinced by the case he makes.
“Syria is awash with arms, and today it remains unclear how escalating the conflict with British-supplied weapons would help bring about a peaceful political transition after two years of increasing violence.
“If the UK Government now intends to supply weapons to Syria’s opposition, it must set out to the House of Commons how it will prevent weapons falling into the wrong hands, and how this step will shorten Syria’s civil war rather than prolong it.”