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Biological/Chemical Weapons

Volume 400: debated on Tuesday 25 February 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his policy is on the use by HM armed forces of biological and chemical weapons in future conflicts. [98837]

The United Kingdom gave up its offensive biological and chemical weapons capabilities in the 1950s. As a state party of both the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC), the United Kingdom has renounced the use of such weapons.We have played a leading role in the negotiations both of the BTWC of 1975, for which we are a depository Government, and the CWC which entered into force in 1997. We are fully compliant with our obligations under both conventions and continue to press for their full and effective implementation. The Government's policy is to work toward universal adoption of the CWC and BTWC and universal compliance with their obligations. The strength of our political commitment to both conventions is second to none.