Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Nuclear deal -does it lock us into weapons for 50 years?

My old friend Edis Bevan (Warwick and Leamington YL's circa 1970)  raises some important questions about the anglo french military alliance or 'entente frugal' as one wag had it this morning. He asks:


Does the proposed UK-France ‘defence’ deal breach the nuclear non-proliferation treaty? That is a question we need answered as soon as possible.
The deal also locks us into a 50 year nuclear commitment, on the face of it wrecking the window of opportunity for a nuclear rethink won by the deferment of the Trident renewal.
As I see it, it is not possible under the treaty for a country to buy warheads from a nuclear armed power even if is itself a nuclear armed state. All Nuclear states have to build their own warheads. Joint development procedures need to be very carefully 
corralled to prevent treaty breaches. We need explanations from the Government as to how this initiative is consistent with our treaty obligations.

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