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Baroness Williams: Defence review significant step towards disarmament

October 19, 2010 4:21 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Commenting on today's Strategic Defence Review that reduces the number of nuclear warheads carried by Trident, Liberal Democrat peer Baroness (Shirley) Williams said:

"The announcement by the Coalition Government of a reduction in the number of warheads carried by Trident submarines comes at a critical time for multilateral disarmament.

"The START II treaty is the first agreement between the United States and Russia since START I to cut their nuclear arsenals substantially.

"The treaty is now languishing in the US Senate, awaiting ratification. Ambitious plans to control the production of fissile materials are in suspension. The comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty is a distant aspiration.

"So this significant step by the UK government could help to remove the log-jam.

"It follows the decision made in May by the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, at the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty Conference at the UN, to announce openly the number of nuclear warheads in the UK's possession, a crucial affirmation of transparency.

"The UK is now leading the nuclear powers (P5) towards disarmament, essential to a more secure and less dangerous world."