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Nuclear Weapons: Decision To Release

Volume 414: debated on Tuesday 11 November 1980

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether the President of the United States of America must personally make the decision to launch the single-key United States nuclear weapons to be deployed in the United Kingdom, or whether he may delegate the decision to others, and if so, to whom; and whether he is hound to consult or to obtain the approval of Her Majesty's Government of any such delegation, whether proposed or verbal.

The decision to release any United States nuclear weapon must be taken by the President of the United States or his constitutionally designated successor within the Administration. The arrangements relating to the US nuclear forces using facilities in the territory of the United Kingdom which I described to the House on 1st August (Hansard, Vol. 412, col. 1242) refer to a joint decision between the two Governments in the light of the circumstances at the time.