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Missile Defence Systems

Volume 461: debated on Monday 4 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions she has had with her US counterparts on the deployment of limited missile capabilities in Europe; what proposals are under discussion; and if she will make a statement. (136519)

I have not discussed the extension of the US missile defence system to Europe with the US Secretary of State.

The US has proposed the siting of 10 interceptors in Poland and a surveillance radar in the Czech Republic. Details of these deployments are subject to bilateral negotiations between these countries and the US. However, the US has made clear that the siting of US assets in Europe could contribute to any future NATO system and the US regularly discusses its plans for missile defence with NATO.

The UK is discussing a number of ways in which we might participate further in the US missile defence system. We already contribute to the US missile defence system through the provision of the radar at RAF Fylingdales. Officials regularly discuss and review UK participation in the US system as it develops but discussions are at an early stage and there are no formal proposals.

The issue of when and how to develop a collective alliance territorial missile defence system has also been under discussion in NATO. At the NATO summit last year at Riga it was agreed that there should be further study into territorial missile defence for NATO.