Britain, too, currently retains the right to first strike, so I would have thought that the best way forward would be to develop the nuclear non-proliferation treaty into a no first strike situation. That would be a good way forward. I respect my hon. Friend’s wish to live in a nuclear-free world. I know he believes that very strongly.
I think we should take our commitments under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty very seriously. In 1968, the Labour Government led by Harold Wilson inaugurated and signed the non-proliferation treaty. In 2007, the then Foreign Secretary, my right hon. Friend the Member for Derby South rightly said that
“we must strengthen the NPT in all its aspects” and referred to the judgment made 40 years ago
“that the eventual abolition of nuclear weapons was in all of our interests.”
The then Labour Government committed to reduce our stocks of operationally available warheads by a further 20%. I congratulate our Government on doing that. Indeed, I attended an NPT review conference when those congratulations were spoken. Can the Government say what the Labour Foreign Secretary said in 2007 when she said that her
“commitment to the vision of a world free of nuclear weapons is undimmed”?
Is this Government’s vision of a nuclear-free world undimmed? My right hon. Friend also spoke as Foreign Secretary of the
“international community’s clear commitment to a Middle East Nuclear Weapons Free Zone”.