Nuclear Weapons

Defence written question – answered on 27th June 2011.

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Photo of Mike Hancock Mike Hancock Liberal Democrat, Portsmouth South

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the potential effects of the UK nuclear deterrent on the level of nuclear proliferation; and what steps he is taking to discourage and reduce nuclear proliferation.

Photo of Nick Harvey Nick Harvey The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

There is no evidence to suggest that the UK nuclear deterrent has any bearing on the pursuit of nuclear weapons by those who currently seek to develop them. The UK maintains a minimum credible deterrent and is committed to working towards the long term goal of a world without nuclear weapons.

The nuclear non-proliferation treaty remains the cornerstone of the non-proliferation regime, and the primary basis for our efforts to tackle proliferation. We support multilateral efforts to reduce the threat of proliferation such as through the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Nuclear Suppliers Group, by promoting high standards for sensitive transfers of materials and technology and engaging with key partners on a bilateral basis. We remain determined to work with the international community to control proliferation, to build trust and confidence between nuclear and non-nuclear weapon states, and to take tangible steps towards a safer and more stable world where countries with nuclear weapons ultimately feel able to relinquish them. We strongly believe that sustainable global disarmament can be achieved only through a multilateral process.

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