Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:12 pm on 5th February 2019.

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Photo of Lord Browne of Ladyton Lord Browne of Ladyton Labour 7:12 pm, 5th February 2019

My Lords, Europe has been the greatest beneficiary of this treaty since 1987. With the suspension of compliance by both the United States and Russia, Europe is now much less secure, and it will continue to be while that compliance is suspended. On the date in December when the United States gave Russia notice of its intention, there was a NATO Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Brussels. The statement from that meeting included the following paragraph:

“Allies are firmly committed to the preservation of effective international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation. Therefore, we will continue to uphold, support, and further strengthen arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, as a key element of Euro-Atlantic security”.

How does suspending compliance with a treaty of this nature fit with that commitment, and what steps will our Government take to live up to it? What are we going to do now to “further strengthen arms control” in the light of the deterioration that the noble Lord, Lord Campbell of Pittenweem, has so clearly described? We are heading for strategic problems with the new START because it is an Obama treaty and anything with Obama’s name on it is detested by the current President of the United States.