Arms Control and Disarmament (Inspections)
Memorandum by the Foreign and Commonwealth
1. This Memorandum identifies one provision of
the Arms Control and Disarmament (Inspections) Bill that provides
for a power to make delegated legislation. It explains the purpose
of the power, the reason why the matter is left to delegated legislation,
and the nature and justification for the procedure selected for
the exercise of the power.
2. The Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in
Europe signed in Paris on 19 November 1990 ("the CFE Treaty")
was amended by the Agreement on Adaptation signed in Istanbul
on 19 November 1999 ("the Agreement on Adaptation").
The Bill will amend the Arms Control and Disarmament (Inspections)
Act 1991 ("the 1991 Act") to enable the UK to ratify
the Agreement on Adaptation. The main provisions of the Bill are:
(a) amendment of Section
2 of the 1991 Act to provide additional rights of entry and unobstructed
access to inspection teams so that they may conduct inspections
under Sections VII and IX of the Protocol to the Agreement on
(b) a power to make further amendments to the
1991 Act should they be necessary to implement future amendments
to the CFE Treaty relating to inspections.
3. The Bill comprises three clauses.
4. The Bill will extend to England, Wales, Scotland
and Northern Ireland.
5. The subordinate legislation provided for in
the Bill is considered by the Department to fall within the recommendations
of the Select Committee on the scrutiny of delegated powers in
their report of 2 March 1993.
6. The Department stands ready to provide the
Committee with any further supporting details on the delegated
power that the Committee thinks fit; and give oral evidence and
support if the Committee considers that to be more helpful.
7. The Bill contains two powers for subordinate
legislation. The first concerns future amendments to the CFE Treaty,
and the second concerns the extension of the 1991 Act to certain
Overseas Territories. The latter is standard in Bills which enable
the UK to ratify treaties and to extend their application to relevant
Overseas Territories. There is no parliamentary procedure. This
Memorandum deals only with the first of the two powers for subordinate
8. Clause 2(1) provides a power to amend the
1991 Act in the event that future amendments to the CFE Treaty
relating to inspections require implementation in the United Kingdom.
Power conferred on:
||Her Majesty in Council
|Power exercisable by:
||Order in Council
9. The CFE Treaty was negotiated and concluded
before the Cold War security structures in Europe had broken down.
The Treaty therefore reflected the former Soviet bloc and NATO
membership and set limits on equipment such as tanks, combat aircraft,
attack helicopters, armoured combat vehicles and artillery (above
100mm calibre) which were calculated in accordance with those
bloc structures. The end of the Cold War and the emergence of
States in Central and Eastern Europe with sovereignty over their
own national security paved the way for renegotiation of the CFE
Treaty. The new limits for armaments set out in the Agreement
on Adaptation reflect this new security structure in Europe. The
Agreement also provides for greater transparency, confidence-building
and security measures. Among these measures are enhanced provisions
for international inspections of relevant sites within the territories
of the States parties. The Bill provides for the additional rights
of entry and inspection which are required to enable the UK to
comply with these enhanced inspection provisions.
10. In the future, it is possible that the States
parties to the CFE Treaty might be able to make further progress
on enhanced transparency, confidence-building and security measures.
Such provisions could include further enhanced international inspections.
To achieve this further progress, the States parties to the CFE
Treaty would negotiate a further amending treaty setting out the
enhanced provisions. Any further enhanced provisions on international
inspection could well require further legislation to enable the
UK to ratify. The Department considers that it would be sensible
to provide now for such possible future developments by providing
a power to amend the 1991 Act to reflect any further amendments
to the CFE Treaty relating to inspections.
11. As the CFE Treaty concerns European security,
the Department consider it important that there should be parliamentary
oversight of any further amendments to the 1991 Act, and accordingly
the Bill provides for an affirmative resolution.