Nuclear Weapons: Proliferation

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 8th October 2019.

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Photo of Nicholas Dakin Nicholas Dakin Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affiars, what assessment he has made of the level of compliance of signatories with Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons; and what recent discussions he has had with his counterparts in states with nuclear weapons on reducing their stockpile of nuclear weapons.

Photo of Andrew Murrison Andrew Murrison Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

​The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) has been a success. Over the last 50 years it has minimised the proliferation of nuclear weapons; provided the framework for significant levels of nuclear disarmament – the UK has reduced its warhead numbers by over half since their Cold War peak – and provided the framework to develop secure and safe peaceful uses of nuclear energy globally.

The UK continues to work with its allies to encourage all possessor states to recognise their responsibilities and remain committed to the gradual multilateral disarmament negotiated within the framework of the NPT, as the security situation allows. For example, the UK is chairing the P5 process, a forum for the UK, US, France, China and Russia to discuss disarmament and non-proliferation issues. It builds trust and confidence, and contributes to improving the current security environment. The UK also plays a leading role on nuclear disarmament verification, which will ensure technologies and procedures are in place to provide confidence that nuclear weapons have been eliminated.

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