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Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 193427, tabled on 20 November 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to Articles 81 and 82 of the Draft Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community, dated 14 November 2018, what bodies external to the UK will verify compliance with UK obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

Answered on

28 November 2018

The NPT does not require the UK, as a nuclear weapons State, to agree safeguards agreements with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Since 1978, the UK has voluntarily accepted the application of safeguards in the United Kingdom in connection with the NPT through tri-lateral nuclear safeguards arrangements between the UK, the IAEA and Euratom – a Voluntary Offer Agreement (VOA) and, later, an Additional Protocol (AP). On 7 June 2018 the UK and the IAEA signed a new VOA and new AP to replace the existing trilateral agreements that include Euratom. The new VOA and AP were presented to Parliament for ratification on 12 November. The new VOA and AP ensure that the IAEA retains its right to inspect all civil nuclear facilities, and continues to receive all current safeguards reporting, thus ensuring that international verification of our safeguards activity continues to be robust.