Campaigning for a ban on Depleted Uranium weapons
Prime Minister rules out British use of DU in Libya
The following exchanges occurred in the House of Commons on the 22nd March 2011, during the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 debate:
The Prime Minister: (in responding to an intervention from Jeremy Corbyn MP) “I also agree with the hon. Members who signed the amendment about the need to avoid the use of depleted uranium and cluster munitions. We do not use those munitions.”
John McDonnell: He made the specific point about avoiding the use of depleted uranium ordnance. Will he give a more categorical assurance that we will not use those weapons?
The Prime Minister: I could not have been more clear that we do not use those weapons and are not going to use those weapons.
The Prime Minister has given a categorical assurance that British forces will not use depleted uranium weapons in the Libyan conflict. This is despite the official MoD’s position that:
“DU anti-armour munitions will remain part of our arsenal for the foreseeable future because we have a duty to provide our troops with the best available equipment with which to protect them and succeed in conflict.”
The UK Uranium Weapons Network campaigns for a ban on DU weapons, and we welcome the decision of the government to rule out the use of DU weapons in the present conflict in Libya. We call on all belligerents in the current conflict to give similar undertakings.
However, we are seeking clarity over whether this ban will remain in place, should the conflict escalate into a ground war, and whether the government is lobbying its allies to refrain from using DU weapons in the same conflict.