Letter sent to Morning Star:
In his article on nuclear proliferation on Friday, (7 July; http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-b81f-North-Korea-must-be-brought-to-the-negotiating-table#.WWNhTOSWyM8 ) Sean Morris, national Secretary of the Nuclear Free Local Authorities, correctly commented that the hugely important Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty - which has been skillfully negotiated in New York over the past three weeks - has barely received any coverage in the British media.
Inexplicably, this is also true for the Morning Star, despite your continuous coverage of the dangers of nuclear weapons.
Following the decision on Friday at the United Nations of 122 countries to conclude a multilateral treaty to globally ban nuclear weapons the foreign office issued an extraordinarily self-serving and hypocritical statement justifying the UK's absence from the treaty negotiations and rejection of its obligations.
The FCO asserted: "The unpredictable international security environment we face today demands maintenance of our nuclear deterrent for the foreseeable future."
It added it backed the 1968 nuclear nonproliferation treaty (NPT) instead as the diplomatic vehicle to finally achieve a nuclear weapon-free world.
But when this treaty was commended to the United Nations by the British minister for disarmament in 1968 ( in papers I discovered at the National Archives), he told the diplomatic delegations: "My government accepts the obligation to participate fully in the (nuclear disarmament) negotiations required by NPT article 6 (which required all signatory states to negotiate nuclear disarmament in good faith and at an early date) - and it is our desire these negotiations should produce speedy results."
Not one nuclear weapon has been negotiated away by any British government in the 49 years since.