Below is some information and a sample letter for MP's to add their names to the EDM about the MDA, Please use as you can, email it out, send the end section to your MP, and please contact us if you would like further info.
Peace, love and action
Theatre of War
The UK Government is seeking to renew a nuclear defence treaty with the United States before 31 December 2004. This is the Mutual Defence Agreement (MDA) and it will extend US and UK nuclear weapons co-operation for the next ten years.
Recently the MoD and the Pentagon have declared their willingness to use nuclear weapons, in a variety of ways, including in the face of “surprising military developments”, and indeed to develop new ‘usable’ nuclear weapons.
Legal opinion from Matrix Chambers suggests that a renewal of the MDA would be a violation of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). This is at a time when the Security Council has called upon states to fulfill, and indeed strenghthen, their nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty commitments
The UK government is trying to renew the MDA without Parliamentary debate. It is, though, an agreement of massive national and international interest, and should not be allowed to pass without greater examination.
Either send this leaflet to your MP, or write your own letter. Remember, the House of Commons can only be effective when we use it. MP’s will tend toward obedience to the leadership if they do not have the support of their constituents when standing up for human rights and human dignity.
This leaflet has been produced by Theatre of War. See www.theatreofwar.org
or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01986 892723 for further details.
Renewal of the US-UK Mutual Defence Agreement
Dear My MP
The 1958 Agreement For Cooperation on the Uses of Atomic Energy for Mutual Defence Purposes (The Mutual Defence Agreement between the United Kingdomand the United States, the MDA) will expire on 31st December 2004. The UK Government has indicated that it intends to renew the MDA and has laid specific amendments before the Houses of Parliament.
The renewal of the MDA would permit extensive exchanges of nuclear information, technology and material between the US and the UK for another10 years. This appears to contradict the UK’s obligations under Article VI of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the legally binding 13 steps of the 2000 NPT Review Conference.
US-UK nuclear cooperation also appears to violate Security Council Resolution 1540 on Weapons Mass Destruction Proliferation (adopted on April 28, 2004), requiring all states to criminalise proliferation, enact strict export controls, and secure sensitive materials within their borders.
The resolution further affirms that proliferation of nuclear weapons ‘as well as
their means of delivery’ constitutes a threat to international peace and security. The resolution also notes that proliferation means 'proliferation in all its aspects of all weapons of mass destruction'.
This would appear to criminalise the US-UK Trident nuclear missile system, which necessitates the exchange of sensitive nuclear materials across borders, and in addition, their means of delivery.
Where do we stand on Nuclear Non-Proliferation?
As our MP, we would be grateful if you would call upon the Defence Committee Chairman, Bruce George MP to examine the proposals under the MDA to ascertain whether there is indeed any exchange of sensitive nuclear materials or indeed technology transfer of any kind provided for under the agreement. More particularly, we are alarmed at the apparent conflict between the MDA and Britain’s international treaty obligations and support the British American Security Information Council’s (BASIC), Peaceright's and Acronym's call for an urgent inquiry into this matter.
We would be equally grateful to you, if you would call upon Donald Anderson MP, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee to examine how the Government intends to fulfil its legally binding obligations under the final document from the 2000 NPT Review Conference, and Security Council Resolution 1540 on Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation.
We would also be grateful if you would ask the Defence Committee, The Foreign Affairs Committee and the Liaison Committee to ask the Government to provide an opportunity for a parliamentary debate on the MDA, prior to renewal. The grounds for this debate, as articulated by the British American Security Information Council, are that the amended MDA is a treaty in it’s own right and that it involves major political, military and diplomatic issues.