Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum from the West Midlands Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

  1.  This inquiry is welcome. The submission has been made difficult by the terrible events of September 11.

  2.  Britain's special relationship and status as a trusted friend of the United States should be used to urge the Bush administration to:

  2.1.  examine its cavalier attitude to treaties, which is alarming and highly dangerous. It has said it will withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty "at a time convenient to America", has abandoned Kyoto, and looks set to ignore the Outer Space Treaty.

  2.2.  consider the implications on the non-proliferation regime of the lifting of sanctions, imposed on India and Pakistan following their nuclear tests three years ago. While we recognise the threat posed by international terrorism, the struggle against it should be pursued in the context of international law and by upholding, not discarding, existing treaties. Although India and Pakistan had not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the act of lifting sanctions will signal to others that the US is not serious in its attempts to prevent proliferation of nuclear weapons.

  2.3.  consider the implications of, reportedly, giving China the green light for increased production of its nuclear arsenals, in spite of the commitment given at last year's NPT Conference to work towards world-wide abolition of nuclear weapons.

  2.4.  consider the implications of the intention by the US not to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. There are fears that the US might not oppose Chinese resumption of nuclear testing, in return for support in pursuit of Osama Bin Laden, another example of the ignoring of existing treaties.

  2.5.  consider the necessity of upholding international law and adhering to existing treaties, if the US expects global assistance, following the terrible events of September 11.

  2.6.  impress upon the US that international co-operation has to be mutual and that the US desire for "Full Spectrum Dominance", (United States Space Command Vision for 2020) is not helpful in creating a peaceful world?

  3.  We understand that Tony Blair has said that the introduction of the proposed US Missile Defence programme is "inevitable" (Observer, 30.9.01). If this be so, the Anti-Ballistic Missile will be breached, and, almost certainly in the future, the Outer Space Treaty. The UK can ensure that these treaties are not thus breached by refusing the use of Fylingdales and Menwith Hill. Security will be real, only when it embraces the whole world. It cannot come at the expense of the rest of the world.

  4.  How genuine have the "consultations" been on Missile Defence? A US academic, with close links to the US administration, has said that "when the US says `consult' it means `inform'." Have the UK and other "allies" been consulted about a bill, introduced into the House of Representatives in July:

  "To provide for burdensharing contributions from allied and other friendly foreign countries for the costs of deployment of any United States missile defense system that is designed to protect those countries from ballistic missile attack".

  5.  Why has there been no debate in Parliament? Why is the relationship between the US and UK in general not more open to parliamentary scrutiny.

West Midlands Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament



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