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Cruise Missiles

Volume 114: debated on Thursday 9 April 1987

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asked the Prime Minister whether, in the light of the decision of the Belgian Government to delay the deployment of 32 cruise missiles, scheduled for delivery by the end of 1987 if negotiations on intermediate nuclear forces are still in progress by the end of the year, she has anything to add to her reply on 19 March, Official Report, column 554, regarding the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation policy towards the continued deployment of long range intermediate nuclear forces in the absence of an agreement with the Soviet Union; and if she will make a statement.

Following Mr. Gorbachev's statement on 28 February the Belgian Government reaffirmed the position on missile deployments which it has held since 1985. After the meeting of NATO's Special Consultative Group (on INF) on 27 March, which includes all the European basing countries, the chairman issued a statement which included the following:

"The SCG also reaffirmed the Alliance's readiness to modify, halt, reverse or dispense altogether with its deployment of LRINF missiles as part of a balanced, equitable and effectively verifiable arms control agreement. On the other hand, the Group confirmed NATO's determination to continue the deployment of LRINF missliles as scheduled, in the absence of an INF arms control treaty with the Soviet Union obviating the need for such deployments".