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PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS

21 Nov 12. Peers including members of the Top Level Group for Nuclear Disarmament and Non-proliferation debated the case for intensified discussions on multilateral nuclear disarmament with China, on Thursday 22 November.
Lord Browne of Ladyton, who tabled the debate and will therefore speak first, said, “With the re-election of President Obama, it is expected that his ambition of a nuclear-weapon free world will be an important objective of his foreign policy. That his re-election coincides with a change of personnel and direction of those who govern China is a significant and important opportunity to bring discussions about nuclear disarmament to the fore. China is currently going through military modernisation, with no clear indication of how this will shape their strategic capability, but we do know that they are delivering and modernising their nuclear arsenal.
“As a nuclear state, the UK has a responsibility to engage with all other nuclear weapon states on multilateral disarmament and the non-proliferation agenda. The challenges of discussing nuclear issues with China are daunting but necessary and I intend for this debate to be an opportunity to hear the Government’s current thinking in this area. I will also be making some proposals which are designed to increase the level of engagement on these important issues with the Chinese.”
Other Members scheduled to speak include:
* Lord Rosser (Labour), Opposition Spokesperson for Defence;
* Lord Gilbert (Labour), former Defence Minister;
* Lord Hannay of Chiswick (Crossbench) and Baroness Williams of Crosby (Liberal Democrat) Members of the Top Level Group for Nuclear Disarmament and Non-proliferation;
* Lord Howe of Aberavon (Conservative), President of the Great Britain-China Centre; and
* Baroness Falkner of Margravine (Liberal Democrat), former Party Spokesperson for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Lord Prescott (Labour) is also expected to take part in the debate.
Lord Wallace of Saltaire (Liberal Democrat) will respond on behalf of the Government.

House of Lords Written Answers for Tuesday 20 November 2012

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the agreement of both Houses of Parliament will be sought before United Kingdom armed forces are committed to any future war.[HL3209]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire: Since United Kingdom military intervention in Iraq in 2003, a convention has developed in the House of Commons that before troops are committed, the House of Commons should have an opportunity to debate the matter. The Government propose to observe that convention except when there is an emergency and such action would not be appropriate.

House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for Wednesday 21 November 2012

Maritime Surveillance

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how he intends to provide maritime surveillance capability. [128705]

Mr Dunne[holding answer 20 November 2012]: The UK’s maritime surveillance capabilities are delivered by a wide range of platforms and assets, including ships, submarines, aircraft and space and sea-bed based capabilities, and every Royal Navy vessel at sea carries out maritime surveillance routinely and continually.

Military Alliances

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with his American and French counterparts on co-operation on (a) training and (b) weapons. [128998]

Dr Murrison: The Secretary of State for Defence, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), is in regular communication with his American and French counterparts on a broad range of defence issues.

Military Bases: Recycling

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the value of savings achieved through recycling at British Army Training Unit Suffield. [129001]

Mr Francois: The Army has recently joined the Canadian Armed Forces’ recycling contr

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