LONDON (Reuters) - The government's defeat in parliament over military action in Syria will spark a debate about whether Britain still wants to play a major role in the world, Chancellor George Osborne said on Friday.

"There will be a national soul-searching about our role in the world and whether Britain wants to play a big part in upholding the international system," Osborne told the BBC.

When asked whether the parliamentary defeat for Prime Minister David Cameron would damage Britain's alliance with the United States, Osborne said: "There's a bit of hyperbole on this in the last twenty four hours. The relationship with the United States is a very old one, very deep and operates on many layers."

(Reporting by Costas Pitas and Andrew Osborne, editing by Guy Faulconbridge)