Thursday, 21 September 2017
Mrs May's multilateral sleight of the nuclear hand
Letter sent to The Times:
I was intrigued to note in your report of Mrs May's address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York ( "Talking tough: what Theresa May said at the UN summit, " The Times, September 21; ) https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/talking-tough-at-the-un-w2vldnvxsthat she chose to illustrate the merits of multilateral cooperation over nationalist going-it-alone ( as championed by US President Trump), by citing the 190-member state nuclear Non-ProliferationTreaty (NPT).
In a writen Parliamentary answer to Labour back bench MP Kelvin Hopkins on 30 January this year the Prime Minister said: "The UK Government remains determined to continue with partners across the international community to prevent proliferation and to make progress on multilateral nuclear disarmament." (Question 61754)
Yet on18 July this year in another written answer to Mr Hopkins ( a vice chair of Parliamentary CND), foreign minister Sir Alan Duncan admitted that no British nuclear warheads have been removed from deployment as a result of multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations under the auspices of the NPT. (Question 5947).
Although he also insisted an unspecified number have unilaterally withdrawn.
As the NPT - which was co-drafted by the UK, with the United States and Soviet Union in 1968 and has been in force since 1970 - legally requires all signatory states to enter into negotiations in good faith to bring about complete nuclear disarmament at an early date ( under NPT article 6) the UK under successive governments has been in breech of this multilateral treaty for over 47 years.
What kind of message does that send from the UK lecturing other countries' leaders from the UN podium on the important merits of multilateral accords, conventions and treaties?