Global Security: Non-Proliferation - Foreign Affairs Committee Contents

 Letter from Peter Ford

  I should like to make the following points, particularly with reference to Britain's National Security Strategy.

  It must be recognised that the Non-Proliferation Treaty has been effective in preventing the spread of nuclear weapons to other countries but, unless there is genuine movement on the part of the original nuclear weapon states P5, this Treaty is in danger of collapse.

  Although the NPT accepts that the P5 had nuclear weapons when the Treaty was signed, this is quite different from saying they can keep them forever. In fact under Article 6 all countries agreed to:

    "pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control".

  Yet the P5, including UK, are modernising their nuclear arsenals, contrary to their commitment.

  On the other hand, the UK could take a world lead in honouring this commitment by abandoning plans to renew Trident, and should refuse to allow the US to use the Yorkshire bases of Fylingdales and Menwith Hill for the US missile defence system, which is leading to a new arms race.

2 September 2008

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