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Nuclear Disarmament

Volume 475: debated on Wednesday 7 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent steps have been taken by the Government towards nuclear disarmament under the terms of Article 6 of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. (203958)

The UK is strongly committed to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and we are fulfilling all of our Treaty obligations, including those on disarmament under Article VI. We have reduced our nuclear platform to one delivery system, Trident, and have significantly reduced the operational status of that system. We have recently met our commitment to a further 20 per cent. reduction in the stockpile of operationally available warheads, contributing to a 75 per cent. reduction in the explosive power of the UK nuclear arsenal since the end of the Cold War.

In addition the UK is pursuing a programme to develop expertise in verifying the reduction and elimination of nuclear weapons internationally. The aim of the study has been to examine and trial potential methodologies which could be used in a future multilateral nuclear disarmament regime. This work is continuing at the Atomic Weapons Establishment and will be presented to the 2008 NPT Preparatory Committee in Geneva.