Cluster Munitions

Defence written question – answered on 23rd February 2009.

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Photo of Colin Challen Colin Challen Labour, Morley and Rothwell

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the store of cluster bombs at RAF Welford has been removed since the Government signed the Oslo convention; and whether any cluster bombs remain in the UK.

Photo of Bob Ainsworth Bob Ainsworth The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

We will have eight years, from entry into force of the Convention on Cluster Munitions for the UK, to destroy all cluster munition stockpiles under UK jurisdiction and control. Lord Malloch Brown said in another place on 3 June 2008 that it was his expectation

"that there will be no such weapons on British Territory at the end of the eight year period".

Concerning any cluster munitions stored on UK territory but under United States control, we are engaged with the United States in order to meet the eight year deadline. All UK cluster munition types have been withdrawn from service. A progressive UK cluster munition disposal programme has begun, with some munitions already destroyed. We expect that all UK stockpiles will be destroyed by 2013 which we anticipate will be four or five years ahead of the deadline.

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