Britain is widely recognised as the most pro-active of the nuclear weapon states on nuclear disarmament. We have reduced our nuclear forces by over half from the Cold War peak in the late 1970s and the number of deployed warheads on each submarine from 48 to 40 last year; we are also reducing our overall stockpile to no more than 180 warheads by the mid-2020s. The UK possesses around 1 per cent of the total global stockpile of approximately 17,000 nuclear weapons.
In addition, the UK plays a leading role on disarmament verification with the US and Norway and continues to press for key steps towards multilateral disarmament, including the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and successful negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty in the Conference on Disarmament.
The Government remains committed to maintaining a minimum credible deterrent. Given the unpredictable international security environment, and the risk that nuclear weapons may proliferate further in the future, I think this is the right stance.
The UK does not support the resolution recently voted on at Geneva regarding disarmament negotiations. The Government believes 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.