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MPs alarmed at UK aiding US star wars program

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

London, Oct 16, IRNA
UK MPs-US Missile Defence
Several British MPs have expressed alarm at the government's decision to assist the US in stationing its controversial star wars program in Europe.

In an Early Day Motion to parliament, the Liberal Democrats environment spokesman Martin Horwood said MPs had "serious concerns about US plans to develop Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) capability." The programme "raises profound issues about non-proliferation objectives," said the motion, which has been raised following parliament returning from its three-month summer recess.

Just before the recess, Defence Secretary Des Browne announced that the UK government had agreed to a US request to install and operate equipment related to the BM system at Menwith Hill air force base, in northern England.

"We have no plans to site missile interceptors in the UK but will keep this under review as the threat evolves," Browne said, after insisting that the system was "a building block to enhance our national and collective security."

But Horwood said that MPs were "disappointed" about the announcement, which had followed former Prime Minister Tony Blair giving assurances in February that any decision would be discussed in parliament.

With the support of other Lib Dem MPs and some Labour backbench rebels, he said that he was calling for a "full and open debate about UK involvement with the US BMD programme."

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