Nuclear Weapons

Defence written question – answered on 4th March 2011.

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Photo of Mike Hancock Mike Hancock Liberal Democrat, Portsmouth South

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what account he has taken of his assessment of the threat of State-on-State nuclear warfare in (a) implementing commitments under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and (b) discussions with the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.

Photo of Andrew Robathan Andrew Robathan The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

In the October 2010 strategic defence and security review (SDSR) the Government assessed that while no state currently has both the intent and the capability to threaten the independence or integrity of the UK, we cannot dismiss the possibility that a major direct nuclear threat to the UK might re-emerge.

The Government are committed to fulfilling its obligations under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) and to the long-term goal of a world without nuclear weapons. We therefore continue to work closely with partners from across the international community to progress realistic and balanced action to strengthen each of the NPT's three pillars (non-proliferation, disarmament and peaceful uses of nuclear energy). We will continue to work to create a safer and more stable world where all nations are able to relinquish their nuclear weapons.

The Minister for the Armed Forces, my hon. Friend Nick Harvey, has regular exchanges with the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the right hon. Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague) and other ministerial colleagues on a wide range of Defence security issues, including nuclear and NPT related issues.

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