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Gill Furniss MP questions Government about Iran nuclear deal

Gill Furniss asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs “what the Government’s policy is on the maintenance of Iran Nuclear Deal.”

Andrew Murrison, Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Office, responded that “We are clear that maintaining this deal is critical to our national security interests; the British Government is working with our European partners to ensure it is upheld as long as Iran continues to meet its nuclear commitments in full. We are urging Iran not to take escalatory steps and to continue to meet its commitments under the deal. While Iran is in compliance, we remain fully committed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, a key achievement of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture, which is in our shared security interests.”

Lord Taylor of Warwick questions government on Iran

Lord Taylor of Warwick asked her Majesty’s Government “what plans they have to review the UK’s participation in the Iran nuclear agreement following escalating tensions in the region.”

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Office responded “​We regard the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) as a crucial agreement that makes the world a safer place by neutralising the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran. We are urging Iran not to take escalatory steps and to continue to meet its commitments under the deal. While Iran is in compliance, we remain fully committed to the JCPoA, a key achievement of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture, which is in our shared security interests.

Westminster tweets of the week

 

Luke Pollard MP submits ten minute rule motion on recycling nuclear submarines

Luke Pollard MP submitted a motion to parliament “that leave be given to bring in a Bill to require the Government to prepare a strategy for recycling out-of-service Royal Navy nuclear submarines and to report annually on progress, to consult on extending decommissioning powers in Part 1 of the Energy Act 2004 to include the recycling of Royal Navy nuclear submarines, and to publish estimates of the taxpayer liability associated with such submarines; and for connected purposes.”

See full text here.

Public Accounts Committee release report on failure to decommission nuclear submarines

The Ministry of Defence has been criticised in a newly released report from the Public Accounts Committee for their failure to decommission old nuclear submarines , creating an “unacceptable and unnecessary problem.”  The report criticised the “glacial pace” of decommissiong the submarines and highlighted the “extortionate storage and maintenance costs which are now costing the taxpayer £30million per year.”

This follows on from a report released by the National Audit Office in April criticising the Ministry of Defence’s response to the submarine decommissioning and highlighting that £500million had already been spent on maintaining and disposing of the subs, with a predicted £7.5 billion needed to continue to maintain and store them.

Marquess of Lothian questions Government on nuclear weapons use risk

The Marquess of Lothian asked Her Majesty’s Government “what assessment they have made of reports that Renata Dwan, Director of the UN Institute for Disarmament Research, warned on 21 May that the risk of nuclear weapons being used is at its highest since World War Two, and that the world should take this threat more seriously.”

Earl Howe, Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence responded “Today’s security climate is challenging, with the threats faced by the United Kingdom increasing in scale, diversity and complexity. However, Her Majesty’s Government does not believe that the risk of nuclear war is greater today than it was during the Cold War.

While the operation of an independent, minimum, credible nuclear deterrent continues to be necessary to protect the United Kingdom from the most extreme threats to our national security and way of life, the UK has taken a number of unilateral actions that build confidence and reduce international tensions. Our negative security assurances, as set out in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review, are designed to give Non-Nuclear Weapons States in compliance with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty confidence that nuclear weapons will not be used against them. Further, since 1994, UK Trident missiles have not been targeted at any State; our Vanguard class submarines are at several days’ notice to fire; only the Prime Minister has the authority to launch nuclear weapons maintaining political control at all times; and the UK has been transparent about its nuclear capability, including missile and warhead numbers.

The Government is committed to the long-term goal of a world without nuclear weapons and continues to work internationally, within the framework of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, towards achieving the conditions in which all nuclear weapons possessor states are willing to relinquish their nuclear weapons.”

Westminster tweets of the week