British MPs voted overwhelmingly in favour of recognising Palestine as a state yesterday, in a non-binding motion heavy with symbolism but unlikely to change government policy.
The motion was passed by 274 in favour to 12 votes against, to “recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution”.
The heated debate in the House of Commons was watched around the world, and could have diplomatic implications, bolstering a campaign by Palestinian authorities for recognition.
It comes after the Swedish government announced it would recognise a Palestinian state — it would be the first EU member in Western Europe to do so.
Prime Minister David Cameron abstained from the vote along with other members of the government, which backs a two-state solution.
Fewer than half of all lawmakers cast ballots, but it drew cross-party support and was backed by 39 Conservative lawmakers and 192 Labour MPs including party leader Ed Miliband.