Libya: British support sanctions

Hannah ThompsonYouGovLabs and UK Public Opinion Website Editor
March 09, 2011, 1:24 AM GMT+0

In the past week, the USA, Canada, Australia and UN Security Council have now imposed economic sanctions on the Gaddafi regime in Libya, something which is likely to please the majority of Brits, who said they would agree with the imposition of sanctions on Libya by Britain and its allies. However, in our most recent Sunday Times poll, the British public stopped short of supporting arms and troops being sent into the beleaguered region.

  • 69% said they would support the application of economic sanctions against Libya
  • 56% wanted a no-fly zone over Libya, to prevent loyal forces from continuing air-strikes against rebel areas
  • But only 12% thought Britain, the USA and other allies should give arms to rebel Libyan forces
  • Even fewer people (11%) were in favour of sending British troops into the country to help overthrow Gaddafi

‘The last bullet’?

In the wake of neighbouring Middle Eastern countries, Tunisia and Egypt, Libya has also hit headlines due to the national uprising taking place against the current regime. The rebel movement has now taken much of Libya out of Gaddafi’s control but he is not expected to step down, with his son announcing on state television that his father would ‘fight until the last man, the last woman, the last bullet’.

Britain’s attempts to improve relations with Libya in 2004, after Colonel Gaddafi renounced weapons of mass destruction, have been brought into focus by the press who question the country’s reputedly poor human rights record.

This has been especially highlighted recently by the Libyan government’s ongoing violent reaction to protesters, which has been denounced by the United Nations Human Rights Council as violating international law and has put pressure on the international community to take decisive action.

With forces loyal to Gaddafi continuing to launch strikes and military advances against protesters despite the economic, legal and arms sanctions already in place against the country, and a UN resolution for a no-fly zone being drafted ready for debate this Thursday, it remains to be seen whether Brits’ opinions towards using stronger tactics in the region will change.

See the survey details and full results (as part of our latest Sunday Times poll)