British forces may have already engaged in military action over Libya, but back in Westminster a relieved government now has the full backing of parliament.
A debate which lasted six hours saw MPs vote overwhelmingly to support UK forces’ involvement in enforcing the no-fly zone.
But it was not an easy ride for Prime Minister David Cameron who had to respond to several uncomfortable questions.
“Many people would ask the question I am sure today about regime change and Gaddafi and the rest, I have been clear: I think Libya needs to get rid of Gaddafi. But in the end, we are responsible for trying to enforce the Security Council resolution. The Libyans must choose their own future,” said the prime minister.
But if Cameron has his political mandate there is less support from a sceptical British public.
Only one in three people agrees with the action while two thirds are either against or don’t know.
Britain’s government has been at pains to stress the legality of the intervention in order to distance itself from the Iraq campaign which divided the country.