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Chemical Weapons

Volume 115: debated on Tuesday 5 May 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made as to the implications for the United Kingdom chemical industry under the requirements of article X of the United States draft treaty on chemical weapons.

Developments in the negotiations in Geneva are regularly discussed with the United Kingdom chemical industry.In general, verification of non-production of chemical weapons in civil industry will be through agreed arrangements providing for information exchange and on-site inspection at a number of declared chemical facilities.Article X of the United States draft treaty proposes arrangements for challenge inspection, the verification of last resort. By definition, a challenge inspection would be an exceptional event.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will review the United Kingdom's continued support for the modernisation of the United States' proportional share of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation chemical deterrent in the light of the position adopted by the United States at the conference on disarmament in the negotiations towards a chemical weapon treaty.

No. President Reagan reaffirmed with the Prime Minister at Camp David in November 1986 that a verifiable chemical weapons ban was one of their arms control priorities. We are working closely with the United States and other allies in Geneva to negotiate arrangements which will ensure that an agreement is fully effective.