Parliament votes to recognise Palestine – but it’s only symbolic

Joseph Millis
Palestinians demonstrate against Israeli settlements and the occupation of the West Bank
PARLIAMENT yesterday voted in favour of recognising Palestine as an independent state in a move that will not alter the government’s stance on the issue.

However, the largely symbolic move carries great value for Palestinians in their pursuit of statehood.

MPs voted by 274 to 12 to pass a non-binding motion stating: “That this House believes that the Government should recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution.”

Britain does not yet classify Palestine as a state, but says it could do so at any time if it bel­ieved it would help peace efforts bet­ween the Palestinians and Israel.

Government ministers were told to abstain – and Prime Minister David Cameron was not in the House – and the non-binding vote will not force Britain to recognise a Palestinian state.