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Naval Policy

Volume 174: debated on Thursday 14 June 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in what international negotiations on (a) naval confidence-building measures and (b) naval disarmament the Government are currently involved.

No negotiations are taking place on naval arms control involving the United Kingdom. The subject of naval disarmament does, however, feature on the agenda of the annual United Nations disarmament conference.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the current assessment of the feasibility of opening negotiations on (a) naval confidence-building measures and (b) naval disarmament.

The alliance's priority for conventional arms control remains land and air forces, because of the potential threat they can pose to stability. Naval forces are explicitly excluded from conventional arms control negotiations taking place in Vienna by their terms of reference.