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Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty

Volume 454: debated on Monday 11 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans his Department has to review its contribution to nuclear arms reduction under Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. (104982)

[holding answer 7 December 2006]: The United Kingdom takes its disarmament obligations under the NPT very seriously and has an excellent record in this area. Over the past decade we have: reduced significantly the maximum number of operationally available warheads; ceased production of fissile material for nuclear weapons; completed the withdrawal of our maritime tactical nuclear capability and the RAF’s WE177 freefall bomb, with the result that we are the only nuclear weapon state to have reduced its nuclear deterrent capacity to a single system, which is based on the Trident D5 missile. We continue to press for multilateral negotiations towards mutual, balanced and verifiable reductions in nuclear weapons. Our current priority is to push for negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty, without pre-conditions, at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. We also announced on4 December this year that we will make a further 20 per cent. cut in the maximum number of operationally available warheads to fewer than 160.