Nuclear Weapons

Thank you for contacting me about the UN treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons.

The UK has not taken part in negotiation of this treaty, and does not intend to sign, ratify or become party to it. It will not be binding on the UK. The UK is committed to the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as the cornerstone of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime. The treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons risks weakening the consensus around the near-universal NPT, which has played an unparalleled role in curtailing the nuclear arms race.

I am assured that the Government is committed to a world without nuclear weapons. It is of the firm belief that the best way to achieve that goal is through gradual, multilateral disarmament, negotiated using a step by step approach within the framework of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. The UK has tried over the years to lead by example, with our nuclear warhead stock being much reduced. The UK continues to discuss and negotiate with our international partners on the best way to proceed.

Given the unpredictable international security environment we face today, however, I believe it is right that the Government remains committed to maintaining a minimum credible deterrent for the foreseeable future. For this reason, the UK does not support a legally binding treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons

I share the Government's view that productive results can only be ensured through a consensus-based approach that takes into account the wider global security environment. However, I can assure you that, as a responsible Nuclear Weapons State, the UK is committed to the long-term goal of a world without nuclear weapons,

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.