HC Deb 02 May 2001 vol 367 c644W
Mr. Llew Smith

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Islington, North (Mr. Corbyn) of 23 April 2001,Official Report, column 97W, on UK nuclear defence policy, if he will place in the Library the material on which he based his reply on the compatibility between the non-proliferation treaty and the 1958 agreement. [159756]

Mr. Hoon

Copies of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) and the UK/US mutual defence agreement (MDA), with its subsequent amendments, are already held in the Library of the House.

Article I of the NPT states that each nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly, and not in any way to assist, encourage or induce, any non-nuclear weapon State to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, or control over such weapons or explosive devices".

The terms and conditions of the 1958 UK/US MDA, and subsequent amendments, allow for the transfer of special nuclear materials between the UK and US. These movements are carried out in accordance with stringent safety procedures and, since they do not involve nuclear weapons or devices, they do not contravene the NPT.