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Nuclear Weapons

Volume 454: debated on Monday 11 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions she has had with her United States counterpart on taking forward the multilateral nuclear disarmament proposals contained in the United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/54/54Q (1999) on the follow-up to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons. (104951)

The UN General Assembly Resolution calls for the early conclusion of a nuclear weapons convention. The Government consider the treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as the cornerstone of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime and the framework for nuclear disarmament. The UK has an excellent record in implementing its disarmament obligations under Article VI of the NPT and, in this regard, continues to press for multilateral negotiations towards mutual, balanced and verifiable reductions in nuclear weapons. The Government do not support any new process, including a nuclear weapons convention, which could risk cutting across the existing NPT regime.

I have not, therefore, held any discussions with my US counterpart on this proposal.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if she will publish the legal advice received by the Government that underpins the policy position that retention and renewal of the UK's nuclear weapons is consistent with the UK's international legal obligations set out in the White Paper, “The Future of The United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent”, CM 6994. (105215)

Legal issues are dealt with in the White Paper and accompanying factsheet. Legal advice received by the Government is confidential.