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US-UK Nuclear Cooperation

1958 US-UK Mutual Defence Agreement

Amendment to the 1958 US-UK Mutual Defence Agreement (on nuclear weapons' cooperation), June 2004

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The United States and the United Kingdom have now completed negotiations on an amendment to extend the 1958 Mutual Defence Agreement until 2014. The agreement facilitates extensive cooperation on development of nuclear weapons by the two countries and is regarded as essential in the UK for maintaining its nuclear weapons' programme.

Documents provided here include:

'United States No. 1 (2004), Amendment to the Agreement between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the United States of America for Cooperation on the Uses of Atomic Energy for Mutual Defence Purposes Washington, 14 June 2004', Presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs by Command of Her Majesty June 2004, Cm 6261. This document is available as a pdf file at http://www.acronym.org.uk/docs/0406/MDAamend.pdf.

AMENDMENT TO THE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA FOR COOPERATION ON THE USES OF ATOMIC ENERGY FOR MUTUAL DEFENCE PURPOSES

The Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the United States of America;

Desiring to amend in certain respects the Agreement for Cooperation on the Uses of Atomic Energy from Mutual Defence Purposes, signed at Washington on the third day of July, 19581, as amended (herein referred to as the "Agreement");

Have agreed as follows:

ARTICLE 1

Article III bis of the Agreement is amended by:

(a) substituting "2014" for 2004" throughout the Article.

ARTICLE 2 This Amendment shall enter into force on the date on which each Government shall have received from the other Government written notification that it has complied with all statutory and constitutional requirements for the entry into force of this Amendment.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned, duly authorised, have signed this Amendment.

DONE at Washington, in duplicate, this Fourteenth day of June, 2004.

For the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: F. R. BAKER

For the Government of the United States of America: STEPHEN G RADEMAKER

Notes

1. Treaty Series No. 41 (1958) Cmnd 537; as amended by TS 72 (1959) Cmnd 859, TS 85 (1969) Cmnd 4119, TS 46 (1970) Cmnd 4383, TS 65 (1975) Cmnd 6017, TS 61 (1980) Cmnd 7976, TS 4 (1985) Cmnd 9434 and TS 22 (1995) Cm 2785.

Source: UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, http://www.fco.gov.uk.

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Explanatory Memorandum on the Amendment to the Agreement between the Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of the United States of America for Co-operation on the Uses of Atomic Energy for Mutual Defence Purposes (21/06/04)

Title of Agreement

Amendment to the Agreement between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the United States of America for Co-operation on the Uses of Atomic Energy for Mutual Defence Purposes.

Subject Matter

The Agreement between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the United States of America for Cooperation on the Uses of Atomic Energy for Mutual Defence Purposes 1958 forms the basis for US-UK co-operation on nuclear weapons and nuclear propulsion matters. It covers tire arrangements under which information, materials and equipment can be exchanged between the UK and the US and the necessary requirements for the control and transmission of this information.

Article III bis concerns the transfer of materials and equipment between the UK and the US and is extended every ten years. It is due to expire on 31 December 2004.

The Amendment to the Agreement between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the United States of America for Co-operation on the Uses of Atomic Energy for Mutual Defence Purposes amends Article III bis of the 1958 Agreement to extend the application of that provision to 31 December 2014.

Ministerial Responsibility The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs has overall responsibility for UK policy relating to the UK's relations with the US. The Secretary of State for Defence has a policy interest.

Policy Considerations

(i) General

The amendment to Article III bis of the 1958 Agreement will extend that provision 31 December 2014. The 1958 Agreement underpins all nuclear defence co-operation between the US and the UK; without it the US Government cannot share nuclear technology or transfer materials to the UK. Cooperation under the MDA has been of considerable mutual benefit and it is in the national interest of both the US and the UK to continue.

As a responsible nuclear weapon state, the UK regards safety, security and reliability as central to the maintenance of its nuclear warheads. To provide nuclear warhead assurance to comply with the 1998 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty the UK has developed a programme of leading edge research. The programme benefits from long-standing collaboration with US scientists, including the sharing of data and test results and the use of US test facilities. This collaboration can only take place under the MDA and is consistent with our CTBT and other legal obligations.

(ii) Financial

There are no financial implications for the UK in extending the application of Article III bis of the 1958 Agreement.

(iii) Reservations and Declarations

There are no reservations or declarations.

Implementation

No change to UK legislation is required to give effect to the amendment to the 1958 Agreement.

Presented to Parliament June 2004

Source: UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, http://www.fco.gov.uk.

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Message to the Congress of the United States from President Bush, June 14, 2004

I am pleased to transmit to the Congress, pursuant to section 123d. of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, the text of an amendment to the Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for Cooperation on the Uses of Atomic Energy for Mutual Defense Purposes of July 3, 1958, as amended, and my written approval, authori-zation, and determination concerning the agreement. The joint unclassified letter submitted to me by the Secretaries of Energy and Defense that provides a summary position on the Amendment is also enclosed.

The Amendment extends for 10 years (until December 31, 2014) provisions that permit the transfer of nonnuclear parts, source, byproduct, special nuclear materials, and other material and technology for nuclear weapons and military reactors, and revises text, principally in the Security Annex, to be consistent with current policies and practices relating to personnel and physical security.

In my judgment, the proposed Amendment meets all statutory requirements. The United Kingdom intends to continue to maintain viable nuclear forces. In light of our previous close coopera-tion and the fact that the United Kingdom has committed its nuclear forces to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, I have concluded that it is in our interest to continue to assist them in main-taining a credible nuclear force.

I have approved the Amendment, authorized its execution, and urge that the Congress give it favorable consideration.

GEORGE W. BUSH
THE WHITE HOUSE,
June 14,2004.

Source: the White House, http://www.whitehouse.gov.

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Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Energy from President Bush, June 14, 2004

SUBJECT: Proposed Amendment to the United States/United Kingdom Agreement for Cooperation on the Use of Atomic Energy for Mutual Defense Purposes

I have reviewed and concur in the recommendations in your letter of June 7, 2004, recommending approval of a proposed amendment to the Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for Cooperation on the Uses of Atomic Energy for Mutual Defense Purposes. I note from your joint recommenda-tion and concur with your assessment that the United Kingdom, by participating with the United States pursuant to an international agreement, is making substantial and material contributions to the mutual defense and security. The proposed Amendment will permit cooperation that will further improve our mutual defense posture and support our interests under the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. I hereby:

approve the proposed Amendment to the 1958 Agreement;

determine that performance under the proposed Amendment will promote and will not constitute an unreasonable risk to the common defense and security;

approve the program outlined in this Amendment and determine that such program will promote and will not constitute an unreasonable risk to the mutual defense and security; and

authorize the execution of the proposed Amendment for the Government of the United States in a manner specified by the Secretary of State.

GEORGE W. BUSH

Source: the White House, http://www.whitehouse.gov.

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US-UK Mutual Defense Agreement renewal and the NPT, Early Day Motion in the UK Parliament, June 24, 2004

Tabled by Llew Smith MP.

That this House notes the proposed 10-year extension to the 1958 United Kingdom-United States Agreement for Cooperation on the uses of Atomic Energy for Mutual Defence purposes, as amended, suggested in Cm 6261 as presented to Parliament on 21st June; believes that the extension of this bilateral treaty undermines United Kingdom and United States' commitments under Article 1 of the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), for which they are depository states, which states each nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly; is concerned that the government does not see a potential conflict of interest between the MDA and the United Kingdom commitment to the NPT as stated by Lord Bach in the House of Lords on 22nd June, at column 1119; recalls the comment by the NPT review conference, Main Committee on 8th May 1995 that among states parties there are variations in the interpretation of certain aspects of Articles I and II which need clarification, especially regarding the obligations of nuclear-weapon states parties among themselves ... which may have resulted in transfer of nuclear weapons in violation of the spirit and objective of (NPT) Article I; and therefore calls for a debate in Government time in advance of possible ratification of the treaty, as amended.

Source: The UK Parliament website, http://edm.ais.co.uk/weblink/html/motion.html/ref=1407.

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